Maybe you’ve gotten a taste of Android and like it enough to consider switching, or maybe a rabid fanboy finally convinced you that your life is meaningless without Android (unlikely). In any case, we’re here to help you make the switch as painlessly as possible. Unfortunately, Apple hasn’t made any of its apps available on Android except Apple Music, although rumor has it that may change in the future. In the meantime, lets explore what Android has to offer.
Turn Off Apple Services
The first thing you need to do is turn off iMessage. You’ll find this in your iPhone settings by going to Settings > Messages > iMessage. If you don’t switch it off you won’t receive any message sent from an iPhone to your phone number. You’ll need to then deregister your phone number from iMessage by heading to this website.
Next, make sure iCloud is turned off. If you have anything stored in iCloud Drive, upload it to Google Drive or Dropbox, and remove it from iCloud. Make sure you don’t have any documents in Pages, Numbers or Keynotes. Although you can still access your iCloud data by going to www.icloud.com, it’s much easier on Android to transfer content to apps. If you use your iCloud email address, check out Microsoft’s Outlook app here. It works with all of your email accounts including iCloud, so you don’t have to switch all of your email subscriptions.
To make sure all of your contacts are transferred, go into your iPhone settings to find out which account they’re being synced to. If you already use Gmail, then no worries – they will be transferred to Android without a hitch. If you sync contacts to iCloud, you’ll have to jump through some hoops.
- On your iPhone, go into Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Accounts > iCloud. Turn on the toggle for Contacts and “Merge” them with iCloud.
- Go to www.icloud.com and select Contacts. In the lower-left corner, click the wheel and choose “Select All”. Click the wheel again and choose “Export vCard”.
- Go to www.gmail.com and click on the Mail button and select Contacts. Click “More” and select “Import”. Select “Choose File” and browse to your saved vCard file.
- Once importing is done, delete any duplicates by using the “Find and Merge Duplicates” button in the More menu above the contacts list.
If your contacts are synced to your SIM card, you have two options. If you have an unlocked iPhone and will be using an unlocked Android phone, then using the same SIM card in the Android phone will have your contacts automatically synced. Otherwise, you can use iTunes on a PC or Mac.
- Connect your iPhone and open iTunes. Go into your device settings and click the “Info” tab. Check the box next to “Sync Contacts with”.
- Choose “Google Contacts” from the menu and enter your Google account information.
- Now sync your iPhone.
Photos and Music
If you stream your music with Spotify, Apple Music, etc., then no problem. Otherwise, you can find all of your iTunes music on your computer and upload them to Google Music.
- Make sure your iPhone is synced to iTunes.
- Install Google Play Music Manager onto your computer. It’s a tool that will automatically upload your music into Google Music. Download it here.
- Finish setting up your Google Play account.
Transferring photos is another easy solution. If you keep your photos on your iPhone, then download the Google Photos app and have it automatically back them up. Unless you have terabytes of photos, you should select the “Keep original files” instead of having Google upload “optimized” versions of your photos. I learned this the hard way when I had Google upload the stripped down and optimized versions of my photos. Then, when my original photos were lost, I only had the compressed versions that Google uses.
If your photos are on your computer, then go to the web version of Google Photos. Uploading is a simple matter of drag and drop.
Once everything is transferred, explore the Google Play Store to find the apps you were using on iOS. You’ll probably find most of them, but if you’ve been using iOS-only apps, you’ll have to either find a third-party alternative or go without. Sorry.
Google Play Alternatives
Android has some great alternatives to iOS apps, especially when it comes to default apps. Google Keep, Maps, Photos, Music, Docs, etc., are all good alternatives to Apple’s offerings. Admittedly, Google doesn’t do as good of a job as Apple when it comes to showcasing new apps, or new app updates. A lot of it will require just searching the store, and investigate the app categories to find the apps you were using.