Switching from Android to iOS can be daunting – you’re not just switching to a new device, you’re switching to an entirely new operating system.
But it turns out that the switch itself actually might be the easiest part.
Back in 2015, Apple introduced one of only two apps it lets Android users download, called Move to iOS (the other app is Apple Music).
Move to iOS is intended to help Android users seamlessly swap to an iPhone without losing their important data, like contacts, photos, calendars, and more.
The app is a key part of making the switch, but there are a few other steps along the way before you can get started with your new iPhone.
Here’s everything you need to do to switch from an Android device to an iPhone.
Step 1: Back up all your data.
Before making the permanent switch to a new device, make sure all your data is backed up.
On your Android device, go to your settings and look for “Backup & reset” (on some devices, this option may be under “Cloud and Accounts”). Then, check to make sure you have a working email address listed under “Backup account” and ensure “Back up my data” is set to “On.”
Step 2: Download Google Photos that are on your Android device.
For many people, preserving their photos is a major concern when switching to a new device.
There are ways to transfer your photos in one batch along with all the rest of your data (more on that in a minute), but using Google Photos is a smart precautionary measure.
The Google Photos app works on both Android and iOS devices. The app also offers unlimited storage and automatic backups, so it’s a good idea to use it all the time, not just when switching to a new phone.
Before you start the switch, download the app if you don’t have it already. Then, allow it to backup all the photos in your camera roll. When you set up your new iPhone, just add the Google Photos app, sign in, and you should see all your photos.
Step 3: On your new iPhone, begin the setup process until you get to the screen that says “Apps & Data.”
And while you’re at it, plug both of your phones (old Android, new iPhone) into a power source.
Step 4: On your Android phone, download Apple’s Move to iOS app.
Move to iOS is available to anyone with a phone or tablet running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later.
Move to iOS transfers much of your existing Android data to an iOS device without you having to manually transfer it or back it up on a computer. The app can transfer your contacts, message history, photos and videos, web bookmarks, mail accounts, and calendars.
To get started, power on your new iPhone. During the setup process on the iPhone, select the option that says “Move Data from Android” and look for a 12-digit code to enter into the Android app.
Your iPhone will then create its own private WiFi network in order to transfer all your data over.
And yes, this will copy over the photos you just backed up with Google Photos. It’s probably overkill, but having your photos saved to both your new device and the cloud can’t hurt.
Step 5: Start the transfer. This may take a while …
After the process is over, you’ll see a prompt on your old device that encourages you to take it to an Apple Store to be recycled.
You should also see an option on your iPhone to finish setting up the device.
Step 7: Download all your favourite apps onto your iPhone.
Unfortunately, apps don’t transfer from Android to iOS – you’ll have to manually download each app to your new device.
Plus, if you paid for any apps on the Google Play Store, you’ll likely have to purchase them all over again.
Otherwise, all the rest of your relevant data should now be loaded onto your new device.
Just make sure to hang on to your Android phone until you’re sure everything transferred over. When you’re ready to sell or donate it – or even just let it gather dust in a drawer – make sure you restore the old device to its factory settings.
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