Switching from an iPhone to an Android

Posted on Posted in Android, Contacts, Data Transfer, How to, iPhone


I have a friend who switches phones every few months. An expensive habit to have. His biggest complaint about switching between Operating Systems? Losing his information and not knowing how to retrieve it after switching over to a new platform.

There’s something each unique phone operating system brings to the user. Recently I convinced my friend to give the LG G4 a try after his iPhone 5C was stolen. His biggest concern was being able to transfer things like his music and contacts, which were synced to iTunes, and iCloud respectively.

A lot of people share the same concerns when it comes to switching from an iPhone to an Android, or visa versa.

Will I lose my contacts, my photos, or music? What about my apps? How will I get those back? Will all my information be saved? So many questions.

Take a deep breath, and relax your mind. There is always a way to make transitions like this with ease and transfer iPhone data to your android.

Transferring Photos

One of the nice things about having an Android, is that most of the handsets have the capability to expand their physical memory, with a compatible Micro SD card.

You can’t expand your memory with an iPhone. So when you run out of space because of all the awesome photos you take, it can be a heart wrenching process to choose which ones to keep. There are ways in which you can transfer your photos to a computer, or upload them online.

Technology users are being enticed to utilize the cloud systems that have been put into place either through your email provider, or operating system. Android users have Google Drive, Microsoft Users have OneDrive, and of course, Apple has iCloud. This backs up all your photos from your smart phone automatically onto some intangible “cloud” in cyberspace.

This is probably the easiest way to transfer your photos from one device to another, as it does not require any wires, or any special instructions.

The Android website, suggests you simply download the Google Photos App, onto your iPhone, and once you are signed into your Google account, simply select “Back up & sync”! Just sit back in your recliner chair, and wait for the photos to upload.

Because most Android phones come stock with the Google Photos App, you’ll already have all your photos from your iPhone on your new Android device!

If you want to have a physical copy of your pictures, you can download the photos directly on to your computer.

The first step is to plug your iPhone into your PC or Mac using a USB cable. From this point, your computer will recognize the device attached, and you can choose how to manage your photos.

Media managers such as iTunes, or Windows File Explorer can search for photos automatically and back them up for you on to your computer.

Moving Music from your iPhone to your Android

One of the biggest issues with switching from an iPhone to an Android for my friend was his music. He had an extensive collection, and had purchased many songs on his iTunes account.

There are a few ways you can go about extracting your music on to your new Android device.

The easiest in my opinion is to back up your music from your iPhone on to iTunes using your computer. Again, you will need to plug in your iPhone in the USB port of your computer so it will recognize the device.

You will need to install the Google Play Music Manager to your computer. Simply click on the orange button that says Download Music Manager, and follow the installation instructions.

After the installation is complete, open up the Music Manager, and sign in to your Google account. This will take you to a box that asks where you want to keep your music collection.

Music Manager will then load up to 50,000 songs for free in to the cloud! You will have access to your music from any Android device or on any computer. When you sign in to your Gmail account in your apps, all your music will be found in your cloud storage through Google and you are able to play your music from any computer anywhere that has internet connection!

Although the standard version of Google Play Music is free and comes standard on your Android device, you will have to input credit card information. This is simply so you may purchase music through Google, or choose to have unlimited amounts of songs to upload to your account.

Ensuring Your Contacts are Safe

This part is a very important part of switching any phone.

It’s also one of the easiest things to ensure that your contacts will always be backed up from any smart device.

The easiest way to do this is to sync your contacts to your primary email account.  Since 2012, Google has ended support for the Exchange protocol, so you are no longer able to sync your contacts to your Gmail account via Exchange.

Instead, you will need to turn on contact sync with your Gmail/Google apps account on your iPhone to sync all your contacts.

  1. Open the Settings application on your iPhone’s home screen
  2. Open Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  3. Select Add Account  Select Add Account
  4. Choose Gmail
  5.  Next, enter your full email address (including @gmail.com) in the field called Email. You can leave the Domain field empty as it is not required. In the Username field, again, enter your full username which includes the @gmail.com ending. Tap on Next on the top-right.  
  6. From here, turn on sync for contacts. You can also turn on sync for your calendars and mail to back up all information.
  7. At this point, your iPhone will ask you what you would like to do with existing local contacts, calendars etc. saved on your iPhone. Unless you want to delete your iPhone contacts, select Keep on My iPhone in order for the sync to take place.
  8. In order for the sync to take place, you will need to return to Settings, and select Fetch New Data. Turn Push on, and your iPhone will begin backing up your contacts to your Gmail account!

Alternatively, you can export your iPhone contacts to your computer by creating a vCard file, and importing them directly to your Gmail account. This can be done by using iCloud.

Just follow the first three aforementioned steps, and when you are at the Add Account step, choose iCloud instead of Gmail.

From iCloud, toggle the “Contacts” which will prompt you to “Merge” your contacts to iCloud. In a web browser on your computer, go the to site icloud.com, login with your Apple ID, and click on “Contacts”. Click on the wheel in the lower left corner of the screen, and choose “Select All”.

Click on the wheel one more time, and select “Export vCard”.

In another tab on your web browser, go to gmail.com and click on the “Mail” in the top left corner of the screen. A drop down menu will appear and you will choose “Contacts”. You should see a list of your Gmail contacts.

Above the contacts list is a button that says “More”. Click on that and get select “Import”. Then you will click on “Choose File” and select the vCard you saved from iTunes. From then, Google will show all your contacts, and you can merge duplicates, so they don’t show up twice on your phone.

Just go to “Find & Merge Duplicates”, a d follow the instructions.

Lastly, if your contacts are stored directly on your device using something other than iCloud or Gmail, then you can just transfer your contacts directly through iTunes. When your iPhone is connected to your computer, you can open iTunes and click on “iPhone” in the upper right-hand corner.

Open the Info tab, and check the box by “Sync Contacts with.” There you will choose “Google Contacts” from the drop down menu, and enter your Google account login information.

If your contacts are stored locally or you’re using an account other than iCloud or Gmail then one way to transfer your contacts to Android is through iTunes on your Windows or Mac computer.

Of course, you can skip all these steps, and use a SIM card, or third-party app to transfer your contacts if you want. Just see here for more info.


Because the iPhone’s App store is so vast, chances are, there will be the same App for Android, or a similar version of the app.

Unfortunately, there is no direct method of directly moving Apps and Games from iPhone to your new Android device. Because iPhone and Android run on different operating systems, they are not compatible with one another, and the applications cannot be interchangeable on devices.

So you’ll have to download all the Apps again on your Android, and pay for any purchased items all over again. (It’s easier to get free stuff on Android any way, even if you’re supposed to pay for it)

Luckily, all the major apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, Pandora, and so on are available through the Google Play Store. You can also sign into the Play Store on the web, and install apps/games to your phone, and it’s a little faster than using the Play Store on your Android.

That’s one advantage Android has over iPhone’s. I’m surprised Apple hasn’t figured out how to do this yet.

Occasionally there may be some Game or app you had on your iPhone that you can’t find on the Play Store. AlternativeTo is just one of many websites that show potential alternatives to a wide range of apps and games. Say for example you used the weather app Dark Sky on iOS, AlternativeTo might suggest you try 1Weather or Weather Timeline on Android.

Downloading all your apps and games again will probably prove to be the most daunting task in switching over. The great news is that the increased use of cloud services on both platforms has made the overall process much less painful and gut wrenching than it used to be.

Samsung has even come out with a way to transfer data using NFC from your iPhone to any of their newer Galaxy Series phones. Simply turn on the Smart Switch App which comes on the Samsung device in most cases, and follow the directions.


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