For over six years now, Android users that want to switch to iPhone have had an Android app, created by Apple, to help them make the jump. Move to iOS will transfer your contacts, SMS history, photos and videos, web bookmarks, email accounts, and calendar. It’s finicky at best, and hence the low rating, but it’s your best free-and-easy shot at getting your stuff off your old Android phone and onto your new iPhone.
Turnabout is fair play, as they say, because Google has finally released its own Switch to Android app on the App Store that serves the same purpose. It wirelessly transfers your photos, videos, contacts, and calendar events to your new Android phone, and walks you through other important steps like turning off iMessage so your texts come through on your new device properly. Naturally, it needs a number of permissions in order to do this, and the process can take a while.
Google’s new app—which doesn’t appear to be listed in search yet—is fairly straightforward. The process starts by asking for a QR code, which will presumably appear on the Android phone during setup. We tried resetting a Pixel phone but couldn’t get the code to appear, so we’re not totally sure what it does. But it’s probably similar to the way Apple links old and new iPhones during setup for quicker device access. A screenshot in the App Store listing shows toggles for Contacts, Calendar events, Photos, and Videos, all of which are fairly basic and something many iPhone people probably already sync via Google Photos and Google Calendar.
Skipping the QR step brings you to a Messages window, which merely reminds you to turn off iMessage so you’ll be sure to get all of your texts on your new device. Then you’ll start the copy process, beginning with iCloud. Google prompts you to request to transfer a copy of your data from Apple, which brings you to Apple’s Data and Privacy management page. You’ll also need to do this manually. And that’s it. Everything else—apps, messages, widgets, customizations—obviously won’t follow you to your new phone so you’re on your own there.
But it’s still a simple and straightforward way to switch between platforms. Honestly, we’re surprised it has taken this long. Moving from one major phone ecosystem to the other can be a real pain, and while these apps don’t take care of everything you need to do, they can make the process a bit smoother.
Update 4/14:Added information about the process as outlined in the app.