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Apple released their first Android app last week. Named Move to iOS, it’s meant to make switching from Google’s Android operating system (OS) to Apple’s iOS a smoother transition. If you don’t mind ignoring Mihir’s advice about sticking to one mobile ecosystem Apple vs. Android: Buy the Ecosystem, Not the Gadget Apple vs. Android: Buy the Ecosystem, Not the Gadget You love your Android phone and want to buy a tablet. Everyone tells you the iPad is the best tablet, and it really is the best; but you should still buy an Android tablet. Read More , it’s easier than ever to leave Android behind with the help of this app.

Predictably, Android fans with no intention of switching are leaving 1-star reviews on the Google Play Store. Why do people spend time doing this? I’ve attempted to dive in and see what motivated people to trash this app.

The App Itself

For completion’s sake, let’s take a quick look at what the app actually does. It’s fairly barebones, looking more like an iOS app than one following Android’s Material Design guidelines Exploring Android L: What Exactly Is Material Design? Exploring Android L: What Exactly Is Material Design? You may have heard about Android L and Material Design, but what exactly is this new design philosophy and how will it affect Android and other Google products? Read More . Simply run the app on your Android device when setting up a new iPhone (it won’t work if you’ve already run through iOS initialization), ensure a code matches on both devices, and choose what data to transfer.

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What’s interesting, though, is that apparently Apple didn’t even create Move to iOS themselves. It’s an almost-exact copy of the app Copy My Data, with the original design elements swapped out for Apple’s graphics and their licensing agreement added. When examining the code, tons of references to Copy My Data and developer Media Mushroom are present, so it’s likely that Apple had some agreement with the developers of the original app.

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I wasn’t actually switching to an iPhone Moving From Android To iOS? Here’s What You Need To Know Moving From Android To iOS? Here’s What You Need To Know From all the doom and gloom surrounding Apple as of late you’d never know that people are still buying iPhones and iPads in droves. A few weeks ago, after two years of Android ownership, I... Read More when testing the app out, so I can’t comment on how well it works, but to be fair neither did most of the early review writers. Here’s what they had to say.

Here Come the Trolls

Move to iOS launched on September 16 to coincide with the launch of iOS 9. What's New in iOS 9? What's New in iOS 9? Want to know what features your iPhone will be getting with the release of iOS 9 in September? Curious as to whether your device will be compatible? You're in the right place. Read More  In the few days since, it’s earned a 1.7 out of 5 star review average, with over 22,000 users giving it a single star at the time of writing. You can imagine the kinds of things the Android faithful have to say about Apple’s first foray into their platform:

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Reading just a few of these reviews sets off all the signals of the kinds of online reviews to ignore Ignore These Five Kinds Of Online Reviews Ignore These Five Kinds Of Online Reviews Online reviews can be a great way to decide if something is worth paying but, even if you avoid the dodgy reviews, there are plenty of other kinds you should ignore. Read More ; most people aren’t reviewing this app to let you know if you should download it or how functional it is, but rather just exercising their irrelevant Apple hate Your Apple/Android/Windows Hatred Is Irrelevant, Give It Up Your Apple/Android/Windows Hatred Is Irrelevant, Give It Up Getting upset because someone is buying something you're not interested in benefits no one – so why do we get mad anyway? Read More . It’s not constructive criticism, but just someone letting anyone who would look at this app how much they love Android and, therefore, despise iOS.

Though it may be satisfying for some to bash this app, it’s pretty pointless. Apple will have links to this app and instructions for using it on their website and when setting up a new iOS device, so the people who really need the app will be able to find it.

The only possible benefit from flaming the reviews is moving the app down in the search results so people casually browsing the Play Store won’t come across it. Right now, searching for “Move to iOS” in the Store doesn’t even bring the app up in the first dozen results, even though the search is an exact match. This is likely due to its low rating, but could also be because it’s a new app. Regardless, it just shows off more problems with Google Play ratings Why You Shouldn't Trust App Ratings on Google Play Why You Shouldn't Trust App Ratings on Google Play You need a new camera app; you open Google Play and find 50. Naturally, you install the highest-rated one. Guess what? You just got tricked. Read More .

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One user decided to go even further and created his own app, Stick with Android, that allows you to “keep your content . . . on your Android device” with “just one step”. It does nothing, of course, but it’s garnered a 4.9/5 star review average in just a few days. The reviews on this one are just as cheesy, showing more fanboy behavior:

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We Ask the Reviewers

In an attempt to figure out why people take the time to download Move to iOS just so they can write a negative reivew, I reached out to a few folks through the Play Store and asked. Here are their reviews, and what they had to say when I chatted with them.

Marty Ballard

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First I bleed green, I’m an Android Fanboy through and through. I know that Apple has a policy that states that a developer cannot mention a competing mobile platform and yet they release a “Move to iOS” app on Android in the Google Play Store. So to me they are trolling Google by doing this while knowing that they would not accept a “Move to Android” app in the iOS store.

I thought it was my duty as an Android developer, lover and fan to contribute my “review” and 1 star rating.

And for the record, no zombies actually ate my brain nor did I try to plug in any micro-USB cable to an iOS device, obviously those comments were in jest. 

Josh Moorcroft-Jones (coincidentally, a reader of MakeUseOf!)

06-Josh-Jones-ReviewI was once a user of iOS actually and was intrigued by this app when Apple launched it, so I downloaded it to have a play around, obviously with no intention of moving to iOS!

It then just started to annoy me more and more that Apple had released this app and decided to leave a negative review like everyone else.

Google have released many great apps on iOS and Apple had the cheek to do this!

Anonymous

07-Anonymous-ReviewHaha. I read a news article on it being dissed by Google fan boys so with a spare 5 minutes on the train decided to join the party.

So, one reviewer felt obligated as a fan of Android to downvote the app, another gave the app an honest try and felt like it was in bad taste, and a third actually heard about the mass of bad reviews before he decided to chip in with his own. Three different Android users with three different stories, each giving a glimpse into this phenomenon.

Not every person who left a bad review falls into one of these three categories, but it surely explains a fair number of them. People are loyal to their favorite operating system, and Android fans viewed this as an attack on their platform; maybe it is as simple as that.

What About the Reverse?

We’ve established that the animosity towards this app isn’t accomplishing much. However, it’s interesting to note the contrast between the two platforms here. While this is Apple’s only Android app and it doesn’t conform to their design guidelines, Google has plenty of apps on iOS, and they’re great. Google doesn’t try to force Material Design into their iOS apps, generally complimenting the rest of the iOS aesthetic.

Having all these apps makes the switch from either platform easier, because your mail, contacts, and other content are backed up to your Google account How to Download & Back Up Your Gmail & Other Google Data How to Download & Back Up Your Gmail & Other Google Data We’re storing more and more data in the cloud these days. Email, contacts, documents, photos, calendar entries - you name it, it’s on Google’s servers. But what happens when the services we rely on go... Read More .

Apple, on the other hand, bans mention of any other mobile operating system in their App Store Guidelines Section 3.1. So a similar “Move to Android” app would, in theory, never be allowed on the App Store. iOS is certainly a more protected ecosystem, but would Apple be willing to allow its users to have an easy way to jump ship Switching from iPhone to Android? Here's How to Move All Your Stuff Switching from iPhone to Android? Here's How to Move All Your Stuff With the recent releases of the Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC One, and the Nexus 4, there's a pretty good chance that, as an iPhone user, you may be looking at switching over. These Android... Read More like they’re pushing on Google here? Try copying the code from Copy My Data, publishing it as a new iOS app, and find out for yourself; it’s already available on iOS.

Your Review

So now we’ve taken a look at the app itself, how people reacted to it, why they did, and why it’s a bit hypocritical of Apple 8 Ridiculous & Inconsistent Apple App Store Guidelines [Opinion] 8 Ridiculous & Inconsistent Apple App Store Guidelines [Opinion] Here’s a radical opinion - you should be able to run any apps you like on the devices you own. Apple doesn’t agree, and it’s twisted itself into pretzels creating arbitrary rules for what app... Read More to produce it. This is just another form of proof that time and again people will defend what they use and bash all else, time and again – just look at the comments on our final Windows Phone article MakeUseOf Says Goodbye To Windows Phone MakeUseOf Says Goodbye To Windows Phone This is going to be a tearful goodbye, buddy, but it has to happen. MakeUseOf will soon be parting ways with Windows Phone. Read More . Would iOS users have done the same thing if this situation were reversed? Perhaps we’ll never know.

Are Android fans being ridiculous, or was Apple acting in poor taste? Do you think there’s more to this story? Weigh in with your thoughts below; I want to keep this discussion going!

Image Credits:network by 3dkombinat via Shutterstock

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