Being a writer for AndroidGuys.com obviously shows I think Android is the best mobile platform you can get. But even I was once an Apple fanboy since my first smartphone was the original iPhone. I even waited in line for every iPad and iPhone release, before you could pre-order them online. And even when the iPhone 3GS launch was botched by AT&T servers, I patiently waited in line for 11 hours to get my iPhone.
For the first few years, iOS was a much better platform than Android, but times have changed. Android smartphones have much more variety in hardware and price points. You can get into Android for as little as $50 and as high as $750 for premium smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note5.
Many people stick with iOS because it works for them. I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to change when something works. Although by not considering your options, you could be wasting hundreds of dollars. Generally most people shop around for the best deals – groceries, automobiles, mattresses, furniture, etc. But for many reasons many people decide to stick with iOS for the fear of change. Technology is intimidating but you can’t make a change without trying.
Kudos to you if you have tried Android and prefer iOS. If you’ve tried it and decided you don’t want to change then you don’t need to read any further. But for those of you who have not given Android a try, I highly recommend you to try it. You may not realize what you’re missing, and I promise you that you’ll still be able to keep and migrate your contacts, email, pictures, videos and music. And you will still be able to text, make phone calls, send emails, use GPS, and browse the internet just like you do on your iPhone. And you’ll also be able to enjoy Netflix, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and all of the other major apps you do on your iPhone.
Keep an open mind
The first thing to do is keep an open mind when making a change. When you get a new car, you need to learn the new button layout, how the car steers, the responsiveness of the gas and brake pedals, the comfort and position of your seats and so on. Switching to a new phone is no different. Even if you’re making the switch from an iPhone 5 to and iPhone 6S you’re going to have to make some adjustments.
Give yourself at least a week before you make a final decision on Android.
In order to make the switch as clean as possible you need to do a few things first. Follow the steps below and the switch will be clean.
Deactivate iMessage from your iPhone
First things first. Deregister your iPhone from iMessage. You need to do this to avoid losing texts.
Why do I need to deregister iMessage?
You might need to deregister iMessage if you have a non-Apple phone and can’t get SMS or text messages someone sends you from an iPhone.
This can happen if you used iMessage on your iPhone and then transferred your SIM card or phone number to a non-Apple phone (such as Android, Windows, or BlackBerry).
If you recently switched from using an iPhone and didn’t turn off iMessage, your number is still sending iMessages, not SMS or text.
How do I deregister iMessage?
If you still have the iPhone you were using before you switched, use it to deregister iMessage with these steps.
- If you transferred your SIM card from the iPhone to a non-Apple phone, put it back in the iPhone.
- Make sure that you’re connected to the cellular data network.
- Tap Settings > Messages. Turn iMessage off.
If you don’t have access to your iPhone, use the Deregister iMessage webpage.
What happens when I deregister iMessage via the web page?
After starting steps to deregister, you’ll receive a text message on your phone. The text will have a confirmation code that you need to enter on the webpage in order to complete your deregistration. This code is sent as a normal text message that you can receive on any phone that supports text messages.
Once you receive and enter your code, you should be able to receive text messages successfully. Note that if other people try to send you messages, their devices might still need a few hours before they recognize that you’re not using iMessage any more. Additionally, texts sent within an old iMessage conversation might still not send. See I’m still not getting texts from iPhones below for more information.
You might not be able to get SMS or text messages that someone sends you from an iPhone because they’re still being sent as iMessage.
If you still have your iPhone
- Put the SIM card you transferred from your iPhone back into your iPhone.
- Make sure that you’re connected to a cellular data network (such as 3G or LTE).
- Tap Settings > Messages and turn off iMessage.
- Tap Settings > FaceTime and turn off FaceTime.
If you don’t have your iPhone or can’t turn off iMessage
Back up all of your contacts
Once you have deregistered iMessage your next most important step is to make sure all of your contacts are back up properly.
If you don’t already know which account your contacts are saved to, you’ll need to check this in iOS. To do this on your iPhone or iPad, tap “Settings”, then “Mail, Contacts, Calendars.” Once you’re in the “Contacts” section, tap “Default Account” to see which account is selected. From the list below, read the instructions for your default account.
Contacts Account: Gmail
Contacts Account : iCloud
You can transfer your contacts from iCloud to Android as follows:
- Go to “Settings,” then “Mail, Contacts, Calendars,” then “Accounts” where you should see “iCloud” listed. Open iCloud and turn on the toggle for “Contacts” which will prompt you to “Merge” your device’s contacts with iCloud.
- In a web browser on your desktop computer, go to icloud.com, login with your Apple ID, and click on “Contacts”. In the lower-left corner, click on the wheel, “Select All”. Once selected, click the wheel again and choose “Export vCard”.
- In a web browser, go to gmail.com, click on the “Mail” button in the top left and select “Contacts”. You should see a list of your Gmail contacts.
- Now click the “More” button above the contacts list and select “Import”. Select “Choose File” and select your saved vCard file. When importing is complete, Gmail will display the number of contacts imported.
- Finally, delete any duplicates by using the “Find & merge duplicates” function under the “More” button above the contacts list.
Bring all of your photos with you using Google Photos
Google Photos is a great way to have all your pics – past and future – in one place, with unlimited private storage and accessible from any internet connected device. There are always lots more choices on Google Play to find the photo app that works perfectly for you.
- On your iPhone, download the Google Photos app from the App Store.
- Open Google Photos and sign in using your Google account (i.e., your Gmail address and password).
- Select “Back up & sync” for your photos by selecting the menu icon, followed by the gear icon at the top right. Now go to “Camera and Photos”, touch “Back up & sync” and switch it on.
- Sit back as all your photos are being saved to the cloud.
- Open the Photos app on your new Android device to see all of your photos from your iPhone or iPad.
Transfer your iTunes Music
Easily transfer up to 50,000 of your songs from your iTunes library to Google Play Music for free. From there, you can access your collection on any web browser, any of your Android devices, or even from your iPhone or iPad.
- Make sure your iPhone or iPad is fully synced to iTunes on your computer. Your music should all be backed up on your computer when this is done.
- Install Google Play Music Manager on your computer. Music Manager will upload your iTunes music to the cloud. You can download Music Manager here.
- Finish setting up your Google Play account by creating a Google Wallet account.
Set up your email accounts using the Gmail app
The Gmail app is ready to go when you set up your Android phone or tablet with a Google account. Simply open the Gmail app and sign in.
You can still access all your email accounts on your Android device by installing the app for your email service from Google Play. For example, just install Yahoo Mail. For iCloud email, install an email app that supports IMAP, POP3 and Exchange accounts.
Once you make the change
Remember to keep an open mind. Give Android a fair chance. Every device change requires a bit of learning. As long as you deregister iMessage, back up your contacts, photos, music and email properly you should find that Android offers the same features as iOS with lots more. With Apple there are two main phones to select from, the small 4.7″ iPhone 6S and the large iPhone 6S Plus. On Android you can select from dozens of manufacturers that offer phones that range from $40-$750 with every feature you can think of. Replaceable battery, 4k display, optical zoom cameras – you name it, Android has it.
If you get a phone from a carrier like T-Mobile or AT&T, you will get 15 days to try out the phone. If you don’t like your brand new Android device you can swap it out for an iPhone within that time period. Different carriers have slightly different rules like restocking fees, but places like Best Buy offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all phones with no additional fees.
Remember all smartphones can send texts, email, browse the web, take pictures, and get you places with GPS. While iPhones are widely used, they are very expensive and you should consider taking a look at Android. The steps for making the change are pretty easy.