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You'll soon be able to migrate from iOS to Android without losing your Live Photos (APK teardown)

The Data Transfer Tool will soon be updated to support iOS Live Photos for device-to-device transfer.

Published onJune 3, 2024

Pixel 8 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro in hand
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Google’s Data Transfer Tool (also called Pixel Migrate on Pixel devices) is adding support for transferring Live Photos from iOS to Android.
  • Live Photos will be converted to Motion Photos during the data migration process and transferred phone-to-phone without needing any cloud services in the middle.
  • This feature is not currently live and will be rolled out in the future.

The battle between iOS and Android has been on for decades now, and most people have their feet set in one camp or the other. But plenty of people switch allegiances ever so often, trying to see if the grass is that much green on the other side. For iPhone users switching to Android, the move is filled with a newfound freedom, but it also comes with certain inconveniences from the ecosystem lock-in. For example, iOS Live Photos are not migrated properly when you move to Android. Google could be working on a solution for Android users that properly migrates Live Photos over as Motion Photos.

If you have been an iPhone user for a while, there’s a good chance that you have accumulated a lot of Live Photos. Live Photos capture what happens just before and after you take a photo, and they are enabled by default. You can convert Live Photos to videos or gifs, apply effects, or use the actual photo you clicked. So you can see why Apple users wouldn’t like to lose all of their Live Photos when they migrate to Android.

Google has a half-solution in the form of Motion Photos and Google Photos. You can back up all your Live Photos to Google Photos, which will show them as the platform’s Motion Photos when you move to Android. But this move presumes you have adequate storage in your Google One account. If you have accumulated a ton of Live Photos over the years, then your free 15GB Google One tier isn’t going to cut it to transfer all your photos from iOS to Android.

An APK teardown helps predict features that may arrive on a service in the future based on work-in-progress code. However, it is possible that such predicted features may not make it to a public release.

Google is working on a solution for all Android users with GMS. The latest update to the Data Transfer Tool app (also called Pixel Migrate on Pixel devices) is adding support for transferring Live Photos stored on the old iPhone from which the user is migrating.

Google Restore Tool Migrating Live Photos from iOS to Android

These Live Photos will be automatically converted to Motion Photos during the transfer process to your device. This way, you get a cleaner device-to-device transfer without resorting to any cloud storage middlemen in the future.

We are unable to confirm if the feature is live just yet on the current build. But you can expect it to be fleshed out and available in future builds.

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