So you’ve decided to switch to Android. I’m not here to make an argument for either side. I’m just here to help you jump ship with minimal damage and data loss.
It’s 2017 and the last thing you want to do is put up a status on Facebook asking people to inbox you their phone numbers because you got a new phone and lost your contacts in transition. You don’t want to be that person. Similarly, you don’t want to lose the years of memories captured in your camera roll.
If you follow the steps below, none of that will happen. In fact, if you sync your contacts and photos to your Google account, they’ll be forever backed up on Google’s servers and you’ll never lose them — even if you lose your Android phone.
1. Sync Contacts, Calendars, and Photos with Google Drive
Apple has a Move to iOS app on Android that helps you switch to the iPhone. While there’s no such tool from Google, they have integrated a similar feature into the Google Drive app. It will help you sync your contacts, calendar, and photos to your Google account (photos go to the Google Photos service). So when you setup your Android phone using the same account, it will all be right there (and they’ll be backed up on Google’s servers).
If you don’t mind downloading the Google Drive app, this is the easiest way to sync all your contacts and calendar appointments to Google. Uploading all of your photos to Google Photos though will require a fast and stable internet connection.
Download: Google Drive for iPhone (Free)
Step 1: After installing the Google Drive app, log in with the Google account you’re going to use with your Android phone.
Step 2: Tap on the hamburger Menu button to reveal the sidebar.
Step 3: Select Settings and then tap on Backup.
Step 4: From here, go into the Contacts, Calendar and Photos sections to see more details or to disable an option if you want to. Photos backup for example will take a lot of bandwidth and time.
Step 5: Once you’re happy with your selection, tap on Start Backup.
Step 6: You’ll be asked to grant access to your Contacts, Calendars, and Photos.
Step 7: Once that’s done, the upload will start. Keep the Drive app open and active for faster uploads. When the upload is done, you’ll get a confirmation.
2. Sync Contacts and Calendar from Settings
You can sync contacts and calendar right from the Settings app on the iPhone. All you have to do is add your Google account and enable sync. The downside is that there’s no transparency to the sync process. You’ll have to manually check (either on the Gmail website or your Android phone) if all your contacts and calendars are synced.
Step 1: On your iPhone, go to Settings and if you’re running iOS 10.3 or higher, tap on your Profile section at the top. If you’re on an earlier version, swipe down to find the Calendar or Contacts section.
Step 2: If your Gmail account isn’t already connected to the iPhone, tap on Add Account and sign in.
Step 3: After you’re signed in, make sure that Contacts and Calendars sync is enabled.
Step 4: From the Contacts section in Settings, go to the Default Account section and switch it to your Google account.
Your iPhone should automatically start uploading your contacts to your Google account. As an extra precaution, you can go to any of the other accounts you have linked (like your iCloud) and turn off Contacts sync for them.
3. Export Your Music from iPhone
If you use a streaming service like Apple Music or Spotify, you don’t really need to worry about syncing your music collection between your devices. Just download the streaming service app (yes, there’s an Apple Music app for Android), sign in, and you’re good to go.
Because the Music app is a silo, there’s no easy way to transfer all your songs from your iPhone to your Android device.
To export your songs from your iPhone to your PC or Mac, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Download the free 7-day trial of AnyTrans on your PC or Mac. We’ll be using this app to export your songs. Once it’s installed, connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC using the Lightning cable you received with the iPhone. Make sure to quit iTunes before opening the AnyTrans app.
Step 2: After opening the app, click on the Menu button that’s on the right edge of the window.
Step 3: Select Audio and then switch to the Music tab.
Step 4: You’ll see all your music listed here. Select all songs and from the toolbar, click on the Send to Mac (or Send to PC) button.
Step 5: From the file picker, select the destination for the music files and wait as the songs are transferred.
Once the transfer is done, you’ll get a confirmation.
Now, connect your Android device to your Mac or PC. If you’re using a Windows PC, all you have to do is copy the music files over to your Android device’s Music folder.
If you’re on a Mac, you’ll need to download the Android File Transfer app for doing the same.
4. Transfer Your Photos
For sending your photos from iPhone to Android, all you really need is an app. You can use Google Photos on your iPhone to upload all your photos to Google and then redownload them to your Android device.
Or you can use a third-party app to transfer photos between the two devices quickly. This will only work as long as they’re both on the same Wi-Fi network. The list of these image transfer apps is quite long — Send Anywhere, Xender, SHAREit, Instashare and so on.
I’m going to demo the app I personally use: Instashare. It’s like AirDrop but reliable and not just limited to Apple devices.
Step 1: After downloading the app on both your iPhone and Android (it’s free for both devices), open the Photos app on your iPhone.
Step 2: Select the photos you want to transfer (or select all photos) and tap on the Share button.
Step 3: We’ll need to enable Instashare’s share extension first. From the first row, go to the More section and enable Instashare.
Step 4: Now, tap on the Instashare button.
Step 5: From the popup, select your Android device.
While your photos are being transferred wirelessly, make sure your iPhone’s screen doesn’t turn off.
Depending on how many photos you have, this might take a while.
Lastly, Sign into Your Google Account
Once all your data is synced to the Google account, remember to log in with the same account on your Android device. If you haven’t done so already during the setup process, you can go to Settings > Accounts > Add Account to add a new account.
Once it’s synced, make sure Contacts, Calendars, and Photos sync is enabled. All your data will start downloading in the background.
Welcome to Android. We made it. Well, mostly.
Things We Lost in the Fire
When you switch to Android, there will be things you’ll have to leave behind. Let’s be overly dramatic and call it collateral damage. While most popular apps these days are cross-platform, you might not find niche productivity apps on Android. Things like iMessages (which you should now deregister) and your WhatsApp conversations won’t make their way to your Android phone either.
Once you’ve transferred your calendar events to Google, you’re essentially saying goodbye to iCloud Calendar as there’s no easy way to use it now on Android. From here on out, you’ll have to setup events using your Gmail account.
Another casualty is going to be your iCloud email account. While it’s possible to sync your iCloud email to Android, we really wouldn’t recommend you keep using it as your primary email. If you’re going to use Android, it’s better to go all in and make Gmail your default email account. The peripheral benefits of doing that on Android are many. From access to Google Assistant to the smart inbox features in Google Inbox.
Why are you switching to Android? What has the process been like? Are you settling in all right? Tell us about your journey in the comments below.