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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.

01-Move-to-iOS-App

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:

02-Bad-Move-to-iOS-Reviews

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 .

03-Move-to-iOS-Search-Results

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:

04-Stick-With-Android-Reviews

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

05-Marty-Ballard-Review

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

  1. Guille Puertas
    October 2, 2015 at 11:56 am

    I use both "ecosystems" and to me, both have "issues". Apple, making its devices locked, you cannot copy content to them unless you use iTunes and from them unless you jailbreak and use third party apps. Android, with the update delays or no update at all, my iPhone 4s has iOS 9 already, my newer Sony Xperia Z1 just recently had Lollipop 5.0.2, no 5.1.1 yet for it and according to the news, Marshmallow 6 "has started rolling out".

  2. saska.kolehmainen
    October 1, 2015 at 5:02 am

    I personally have nothing against Apple releasing an Android app, and am looking forward to Apple Music on Android, but the fact that this app is a troll towards Google, and Apple making the compliment irriversable because of AppStore guidelines just stupid and mean.

  3. Steady Kambodji
    September 26, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    I actually tried the app to move data from my friend's Android phone to his new (secondhand) iPhone 5. I admit I'm pretty savvy in things like smartphones and gadgets, but the app is so damn confusing even for me.

    First, it tells you to enter a code that can be found in iPhone setup (which I thought can be found in Settings), but doesn't indicate that you have to reset the iPhone to run the setup again. I wonder how frustrated average iPhone users will be.

    Second, after I reset the iPhone, I found out that it doesn't work with iOS 8.4.1. I don't know if it only works for iOS 9, because it's never been indicated in announcements, news, not even on the download page in the app store itself (CMIIW).

    And finally, even the Android is almost as shitty as Apple at handling data moving. I tried to sync his phonebook contacts to his Google account, hoping that when I login to his Google account on the iPhone it will transfer automatically. But it only synced contacts with a Gmail account (which is not many).
    I got so frustrated I decided to just export all the contacts to a vcf file, then e-mailed it to himself so it can be opened and imported on the iPhone.

    Even Windows Phone handles data moving better. I moved all my photos, videos, music, and contacts from an old Sony Ericsson phone (runs custom Java OS) and it transferred all of my data intact to my Lumia via Bluetooth.

  4. Darryl Bass
    September 25, 2015 at 2:14 am

    I trashed it because it IS trash. The first thing is it asked for a code!! What FKing code?

    And it tells you to look somewhere on the iPhone ASSUMING that an Android user would know where to look!!

    I also trashed it because on the app store if you leave a POSITIVE comment about an app AND you say that it's better on Android OR that it looks better on your Galaxy apple will DELETE your comment.

    What the hell is that, that a company trolls the comments section deleting positive reviews because they say an app is better on a competing device.

  5. Andres Garcia
    September 24, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    At least they should have tried to show a little respect by implementing the Android Material Design. Instead of that, they simply made an iOS look like App.
    Apple enforces strict design guidelines for iOS but when it comes to another platform, they simply don't care about rules... As usual!

  6. Rob Hindle
    September 24, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Whilst I cannot but agree that the Android owning down-voters are being somewhat disingenuous, it doesn't surprise me at all. And that's perhaps the point, the Android vs Apple fanboys (on both sides of the divide) do behave like that so: no surprise. If there was a "Move to Android App" in the Apple store it would get exactly the same kind of response.

    The fact is that customers, having invested hundreds or thousands of dollars into one or other ecosystem, don't want to be told they made the wrong choice. There's an awful lot of misinformation out there, last year a friend, seeing my Android phone expressed surprise that I should use a platform with such a tiny userbase - his Apple store (in San Francisco) had told him Android had less that 10% market share (for what it's worth most reputable sources give Android 80% globally, over 50% in US).

    Another Apple using friend is a multi-multi-millionaire and so for him the calculation is different, by choosing the most expensive of everything you often end up with the best and don't need to take the time to consider competing alternatives. One might argue that in this instance that strategy has let him down but in general, if time is more of an issue than cost that approach probably works out OK.

    It would be interesting to establish the relative levels of ownership of Apple vs Android in various demographics. In the same way as there seems to be a preponderance of Apple kit in the arts community what's the profile of the Android client base?

    I spent a long time comparing technical specifications, costs, features, functionality before choosing Android and I believe I made the right information-based choice. But I guess I'm no different to what you choose to call fanboys. I admit to taking delight in letting my Apple friends demonstrate why they believe they chose a superior alternative and then demonstrating feature for feature the equivalent or better on an Android device (at a fraction of the price) so: guilty as charged...

    • Mihir Patkar
      September 24, 2015 at 7:44 pm

      20 points for beginning a comment with "Whilst".

  7. John Smith
    September 23, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    "fanboys"?
    You mean when someone is not interested in switching, they become fanboys?
    But the Apple cult are not fanboys?
    For a close example of fanboys, look at "Chinmay Sarupria" comment, just trashing the other side and with no facts declaring "Apple is the best and the greatest", on and it is "proven" for him.
    *sigh*

    • Ben Stegner
      September 23, 2015 at 11:16 pm

      I'm an Android user myself, so I was neutral here. I just wanted to take a look at this phenomenon.

      I agree that his comment was in poor taste; it doesn't make any factual statement and just roots for "his side," which isn't constructive.

      It's not that these people aren't interested in switching, but that they took the time to tell everyone they weren't.

      • John Smith
        September 23, 2015 at 11:27 pm

        "I’m an Android user myself, so I was neutral here. I just wanted to take a look at this phenomenon."

        Fair enough.
        For the record, I was not trashing your article, but made an observation about the title, I know that probably comes across as dismissive, but I wasn't.

        Thanks Ben.

        • Ben Stegner
          September 23, 2015 at 11:32 pm

          No problem. Titles are hard to get right, especially with this situation. I wanted to make the point that people were giving an exaggerated response, so "fanboy" seemed like the right word, but I know it carries a negative stigma.

          Thanks for understanding. A lot of people are dismissive in the comments and so I tend to assume people are being so, but it means a lot that you actually took the time to understand. I appreciate readers like you!

    • Chinmay Sarupria
      September 24, 2015 at 11:23 am

      @John- You want to know why I hate Android? Alright then.

      Android users are so concerned about Apple that whatever Apple does they want to reject it straightaway. You said I didn't give a fact so what fact did you give in favor of Android?

      Android is full of problems. A $1000 flagship phone not receiving software updates since its inception can only happen on Android. I bought Samsung Galaxy S4 in 2013 which came with Android 4.2.2 which is yet to receive any update. I contacted their customer service and they said they haven't released update for that baseband version. How lovely answer is that! Now you may say that this is company's problem and not Android. That's because of Android's open nature, anyone can do what they want to do.

      You may not have heard of blinking screen on Android, I have seen it. No hardware problems and no software problems. But Android...

      Is Android as simple as iOS? Certainly not. Android may cater to your needs through its so called "customizability" but that makes things more complex whereas on iOS there is no such crap, everything sweet and simple. You can do what you want, that's it.

      Smartphones are all about apps and when we talk of apps, there comes the word "quality". The world knows, iOS is frontrunner in quality apps. You may not agree with me on this one but that doesn't change the truth.

      And regarding your fanboy comment, people rating Apple's app 1 star just because it is all about moving to iOS, is that fair enough? That app is meant for people who really want to switch to iOS and not for people who want to hate Apple no matter what. If some app comes on App Store that says "Move to Android", I won't 1 star it because it is not meant for me but for those who are seriously considering switching to Android. Why has Apple been so popular? Because people like you "Android fanboys" react to its every step. If the app itself didn't work then you got a reason to 1 star but just because you don't like the OS itself, your 1 star doesn't makes any sense. If you don't like the OS, just leave that app alone.

      It's not me who is trashing the other side but it's people like you who are indirectly supporting Apple with the mask of Android.

      • saska.kolehmainen
        October 1, 2015 at 5:01 am

        But that's the beauty of Android, if you want to, you can do whatever you want.

  8. Brad Merrill
    September 23, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Great post, Ben. I think we all saw this coming as soon as Apple announced this app. The review system is really broken... I'm not sure what the solution is, but in cases like this it's clearly ineffective at determining the true quality of an app. With that said, the people who say Apple is being hypocritical aren't wrong.

  9. likefun butnot
    September 23, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    iOS is the least acceptable contemporary operating system. Many of its default assumptions about how humans want to use mobile hardware are flatly incorrect and in most cases there's no way to address its numerous shortcomings without voiding your device warranty. Using iOS voluntarily gives the concept of free will a bad name.

    I do think it's perfectly fine to make a tool that automates moving data between two very different platforms. That's helpful, and a similar tool should likewise exist each other combination of major mobile platform, because not everyone gets to pick the mobile device they want and transferring data between devices can be a hassle, especially when one of the devices involved tries as hard as possible to prevent users from seeing that the underlying concept of a "file" even exists on its platform.

    But Apple's ecosystem is a black hole. Data goes in. Nothing comes out without third-party or external intervention. Apple is so completely restrictive in its app store control that a similar tool to transition to a proper mobile platform would never be allowed. We're never going to see a counterpart to Apple's tool in its App Store. Everyone is smiling and happy and would never want to leave in Apple's walled garden, right? Just like North Korea.

    I don't have any particular review of the app in question because I'd never use it. Or suggest that anyone else use it. Or support anyone's decision to buy an iOS device. It's not that I think one other, specific mobile platform is better. iOS is just worst.

  10. Chinmay Sarupria
    September 23, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Android fanboys have proved why Apple is the best and the greatest.

    • Ben Stegner
      September 23, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      How have they done that? Because they're angry with Apple?

    • Marek Bujko
      September 24, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      Sad true :)

    • Liran
      January 22, 2016 at 5:23 pm

      Do you love Kim Jong Un too?

      I didn't 1-star the Move to iOS app. I'm sad there will never be a Move to Android app (on iOS devices), and it's working. Apple is preventing many people from jumping ship, because they want it to be as hard as possible.

      I do realise that for most people, the difference between an iPhone 6S and a Nexus 6P (I specifically chose that one because I think it is the best Android device for people who aren't very versed in technology) is minimal, other than that the latter has a cheaper price tag, and uses Google's services natively (which I think is another huge plus, and you probably use Google services on your iPhone too. Notice how you can do so whereas even if I wanted/needed iMessage, I wouldn't be able to get it). To me, there are more advantages, but I understand that the point is what's better for most people. I think the answer is Android, slightly. For my uses, Android is far better and iOS is unusable. I need the customisability, power, and openness of Android. I know that most people don't though.

      • Chinmay Sarupria
        January 23, 2016 at 1:50 pm

        @Liran - Are you even aware of the problems that Android users face? Everything in this universe has a set of advantages and disadvantages, iOS has it too. The advantages of Android are what you listed above - customisability etc.. but the disadvantages are far more than its advantages. For ex - blinking screen, not getting updates on $800 flagship phones(of course it's OEM problem but still it's Android), serious multitasking issues, apps not installing even if there is ton of space available and you try every solution and still it doesn't works!

        If you want I can write a whole book on these things. On iPhone you will never ever run into such issues. It's better to use a restricted phone than to use an open crap.

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