How to painlessly switch from Android to the iPhone

Android and iOS are different in many ways, but switching between the two doesn’t have to be painful.

If you’re planning to ditch your current Android phone, the good news is you’ll be able to transfer your contacts, photos, and almost everything else to your new iPhone.

Here’s a quick overview of what you can transfer, what you can’t, and how to get started.

Switching over your email accounts

The iPhone supports the same mail clients as Android, so you should be able to seamlessly transfer all of your email accounts. You can download Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo Mail, and Aol Mail all from the App Store. Or, you can login to any of these email accounts through Apple's default Mail app.

Moving your photos and videos using the cloud

Services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive let you store photos and videos in the cloud so that you can view them on any device. All three of these apps work across iOS and Android too, so all you need to do is back everything up to the cloud service of your choice on your Android phone, download the app on your new iPhone, then download to the new phone.

Switching your contacts to the iPhone

If you rely on Facebook for most of your contacts, they will seamlessly integrate into your iPhone's Phone app. If not, it's relatively simple to switch your contacts directly from your Android phone. Apple points out that the free app Copy My Data can be used to copy contacts, email accounts, and photos to your new Android phone wirelessly over Wi-Fi.

Or, if you back up all of the contacts on your Android phone to Google, you'll be able to access them once you link your iPhone to your Google account by navigating to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

When you buy your new iPhone from a carrier or Best Buy, you can also ask them to transfer your contacts and photos over from your old phone.

There's another way to transfer your contacts, too.

You can also export all of your contacts from your Android phone and upload them to iCloud, or your Mac's Contacts app. Richard Devine from iMore explains how to do this here.

Moving over your music

Loading music that's locally stored on your Android phone is a lot like transferring photos. If you haven't backed up those files to a cloud service like Dropbox, you'll have to transfer them to a computer manually.

Taking music from your Android phone manually

iTunes 11 connects Mac and iOS devices, but the hub is only in one place. And that's a problem.

To get music off your old Android phone, follow the same steps outlined in the previous slides for transferring photos to your computer.

Then, once your music files are stored on your computer, open iTunes, click the Music tab, and select the My Music option. Choose the Scan for Media option, which automatically looks for music stored on your computer. Then, plug in your new iPhone, click on your phone when it appears in iTunes, and select Music.

Unfortunately, transferring your text messages isn't as easy.

There's no easy way to transfer text messages from your old Android phone to your new iPhone. There is an app called Super Backup: SMS & Contacts, that will create a file backup of your old texts that you can store on your computer.

Any app you use on Android is probably available for the iPhone.

Both Android and Apple have gigantic app stores filled with thousands upon thousands of apps. So, there's a good chance any app you use on Android is also available for the iPhone (except for these and these). If it's an app that requires you to create an account (i.e. Spotify, Netflix, LastPass, etc.) you can just sign in on your iPhone and all of your information will automatically transfer over.

Here's the downside though. If you bought an app on Android, you'll have to buy it again on the iPhone since it's a completely separate app store.

If you're switching to the iPhone, there are a few things you should know.

Android phones are generally more customisable than the iPhone, so you won't be able to change things like how the lock screen looks and which apps you can access on it when you move to the iPhone. There aren't any widgets on the iPhone either, except for the ones you see in the iPhone's notification drawer, and you can't add widgets to your home screen.

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