Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Using a Windows Phone but want to make the jump to Android? Despite what you might think, it is surprisingly easy to migrate your contacts and documents across.
In November 2013, after 3 years using (and passionately supporting!) Windows Phone, I decided that the time had come to switch to Android. Largely for productive reasons, I found that my Nokia Lumia 920 wasn’t quite working as well as I had hoped, beyond being a superb camera. Windows Phone 8’s shortcomings didn’t help either…
Happily, switching to Android was nowhere as painful as I had expected, mainly due to the fact that the apps and services I rely on are available for the little green robot. If you’re planning on making the switch, the steps below should make it as painless as possible for you to maintain your contacts and documents while enjoying the Android experience.
What Data Do You Need To Migrate?
Which apps do you use on Windows Phone? You might use a few Microsoft apps such as OneNote or the rest of the Microsoft Office Mobile suite, or you might use your Windows Phone almost purely for social networking.
Switching to Android will mean migrating your contacts from Windows Phone. If you’re using Microsoft Office, then you will also need to be able to access any documents that you have created.
For the best results, you should use the Outlook.com app and the SkyDrive app for Android (both linked below) to migrate data and ensure that you can access the required documents. Once you’ve done this, you can turn your attention to other things, such as installing Office Mobile or OneNote.
Best of all, because you’ve previously accessed all of these services using a single account, you can continue using them in exactly the same way, making your switchover to Android far less painful than it might be.
Use Outlook.com To Migrate Contacts To Android
When setting up email accounts on Android, you have the choice of providers including Gmail, Microsoft Exchange and Yahoo!, along with other POP3 or IMAP servers. If you’re migrating contacts from Windows Phone, however, you’re probably best advised to install the Outlook.com app from the Play Store.
In order to use Outlook to sync your contacts to Android, you’ll need to ensure that all of your Windows Phone contacts are saved to your Microsoft account. This should happen by default, but to check, open www.outlook.com in your browser and compare the data in the People view with what you have on your Windows Phone. If you use Windows 8, just open the People app and check there. If you’re happy, proceed; any missing contacts should be added, before syncing, just in case.
Once Outlook.com is installed on Android, you’ll need to launch the app and enter your Microsoft account credentials. You will then be prompted to set a nickname for the account (as well as a few other email-related settings). Click Next to proceed, where you will have the opportunity to Sync contacts and Sync calendar, both of which are selected by default.
Over the next few moments, your Outlook.com account will be synced, and a check in your Android address book will reveal an almost identical collection.
Remember that Windows Phone uses Facebook accounts for populating your contacts. As such this information will be copied over to your Android device – stuff like date of birth, some phone numbers and email and the profile photo. Also, don’t forget that you may also have contacts stored on your Gmail account, which you should also set up.
Syncing Microsoft Office and OneNote Documents
One of the key strengths of Windows Phone (until recently) was the exclusive availability of the mobile version of Microsoft Office, and now that this is also available on Android, so too will your documents – assuming you have an Office 365 subscription.
If so, all you need to do is Office 365 for Android and sign in. Once you’ve done this you will see a collection of your recently accessed Microsoft Office documents.
Without an Office 365 subscription you can’t access the service (although you can open view-only documents sent to you by email), but OneNote is available free. If you’ve used this excellent note-taking app on Windows Phone, installing it on Android will allow access to all of your previously created notes, providing they have been synced to your SkyDrive.
Before starting, open OneNote on your Windows Phone, enabling it to sync over your mobile Internet or wireless connection.
Next, install Microsoft OneNote for Android, signing in with your Microsoft account credentials.
After a few moments, OneNote will sync, and is as easy to use as it is on Windows Phone – or even easier still, thanks to a collection of useful widgets.
Reconnecting With Your Photos
Nokia’s popular line of Lumia Windows Phones are equipped with market-beating cameras. As such, you may have a huge library of photos uploaded to your SkyDrive. Can these be accessed and even added to on an Android phone?
You’ll need the SkyDrive app for Android to get started, available free from the Play Store.
After signing in, SkyDrive will display all of your files and folders, much as it does on Windows Phone.
However, unlike Dropbox on Android and SkyDrive on Windows Phone, you cannot set your photos to automatically upload to the Microsoft-provided storage. Any syncing must be done manually if you want to continue using SkyDrive on Android, with the hope that a future update might resolve this. Alternatively, you could install photo upload apps, to get this functionality right now., one of our favorite
Migrating From Windows Phone To Android Is Easy!
I’d known for a few months that I was going to switch to Android: to be honest I had put if off for a while as I’d feared the endless hours spent syncing data and making sure my contacts were copied across, all my photos and documents were accessible.
There was genuinely no need to worry. Within 30 minutes of taking my new Android phone out of the box, my old Microsoft life had been synced.
Planning to switch to Android from Windows Phone, don’t be afraid – do it, and tell us all about it.