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Switching from Android to iPhone: tips and tricks you should know

Posted: , by Nick T.

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Switching from Android to iPhone: tips and tricks you should know

Break-ups are one of those tough, yet inevitable things in life. Sooner or later, there comes a moment when you must let go and move on. Parting with an Android phone and embracing the iPhone can also be a bumpy ride. You won't be simply switching to a new phone, you'll be switching to a whole new ecosystem. That's why we thought we'd put together a guide showing how to switch to an iPhone and take as much of your stuff as possible with you – apps, media, contacts, texts, and more. 

Moving Google contacts, email, calendar, and notes


Even though the iPhone runs iOS, which is a totally different operating system, it gets along with Google accounts pretty well. In fact, you just need to sign in with your existing Google credentials in order to continue using some of its essential services. 

To do that, go to the iPhone's Settings menu and open "Mail, Contacts, Calendars". Then choose "Add Account" and log in using your Google email and password. You will be asked to select the services that you want to synchronize with your iPhone – the options include Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Notes (which is different from Keep). Just pick the ones you'd like to use and you should be all set. 

Keep in mind that if both your iCloud (assuming you made one) and Google accounts are set to display and sync contacts, newly added contacts will be saved only to the account that is set as default. You may change the default account from the said "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" settings menu. 

If you'd rather move your contacts to iCloud permanently, or if your contacts are stored on your Android phone's internal memory, not on your Google account, then you must export all contact data and add it manually to your iPhone's contacts database. Thankfully, most Android phones can export contacts in the form of a vCard (.VCF) file. 

Start by finding the "Export" function on your Android phone. Different Android phones have this option placed in a different menu, but it should be somewhere in the Contacts app's list of options. The exported file will be saved in your Android phone's internal storage. 

Now send yourself an email with the said vCard file attached to it and open it on your iPhone. (You may need to install a file browser, such as ASTRO or ES File Explorer, in order to attach the file.) Opening the attached vCard file on your iPhone will give you the option to view and import individual contacts, as well as to import all of the contained contact information. 

Moving your text messages and call log 


Transferring text messages from an Android smartphone to an iPhone is rather tricky. It is possible, but there's a catch – the only way of doing this is with the help of a smartphone manager compatible with both Android and iOS handsets. Unfortunately, neither Google, nor Apple offer such software, meaning that your only option is to trust a third-party solution. The accent here is on "trust" because, technically speaking, smartphone managers have access to anything stored on your mobile device. After all, they need access to this data in order to manage it. But at the same time, there's no guarantee that your sensitive won't secretly end up on a server somewhere on the other side of the world.

Anyway, we did some digging on the web and found several managers that seemed trustworthy. Only one of them, Moborobo (not to be confused with Mobogenie), succeeded in moving our texts from an Android phone to a non-jailbroken iPhone. The first step in the process was to connect our Android phone to our computer over USB. Also, we had to enable USB debugging in order to let Moborobo do its thing. Then from the "Data" tab in Mobo's interface, we exported all our messages as an XML file. It was important to select this particular format as others couldn't be imported into the iPhone's database, as we found out. The next step was to connect our iPhone over USB and to import the said XML file. After rebooting our iPhone, all of our texts were present in its Messages app. 


Transferring your Android phone's call log is even trickier as having a jailbroken iPhone is a requirement. Again, you have to use a third-party smartphone manager to move this kind of data back and forth. One of the alternative solutions that we can think of is to export your call log and store it in a location you have access to – in the cloud or in your email inbox, for example. Then refer to it whenever you need to. Moborobo can export call log information in either Excel format (.XLS) or as plain text (.TXT), but you can also use Call Logs Backup & Restore for Android, which can export your call history in an XML file.

Moving photos, videos, and music


Transferring media from Android to iPhone is as simple as copying and pasting it over, right? Wrong. The iPhone's media library is managed through iTunes, which you can download for free from Apple's site, if your computer doesn't have it installed already. Frown not as iTunes is usually pretty reliable and easy to use. 

To move some or all of your existing photos and videos from your Android phone, copy them to a folder on your computer. Put them in a new, empty folder if it is only these images and videos that you want transferred. Then connect your iPhone to your computer via USB and launch iTunes if it does not launch automatically. In iTunes, there should be an "iPhone" button in the upper right-hand corner – press it. What you'll see is an overview of your iPhone's status, but this is not important right now. Hit the "Photos" tab, enable "Sync photos" and "Include videos", choose the folder that you just moved your media into, and hit the Apply button in the lower right-hand corner. Do not disconnect your iPhone until the syncing process is complete. That should be it! Your photos and videos should now be found in a new album in your iPhone's Photos application. 


Keep in mind that you may also move your old images to the cloud via a service of your choice – Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, whatever. If you ever need to view any of your old photos, just use the service's iOS client to open it. The advantage of this solution is that you'll have more storage space on your iPhone for apps, games, music, and, of course, new photos and videos.

You may also send photos to Apple's iCloud service even if you don't have a Mac. On Windows, you can do that using Apple's iCloud Control Panel application, which is available as a free download from Apple's web site. Once downloaded, it can be configured to synchronize the photos from a selected folder with your iCloud account, where up to 5GB of cloud space are available at no charge. 


Moving music to the iPhone is also done with the help of iTunes. Before any music is transferred, however, it has to be imported into the iTunes library. By now, Apple's application has most likely scanned your computer for media and imported it automatically. Now just find the music that you want transferred and copy it over to your iPhone with a right click and the "Add to Playlist" option. If for some reason iTunes doesn't meet your requirements as a media manager, there are alternatives. Foobar2000, Media Monkey, even the old-school WinAmp are compatible with iPhones, iPads, and iPods so they can be used for transferring music as well. 


Of course, you don't necessarily need to store any music on your new iPhone. There are some great streaming services out there that you can use instead – iTunes Radio, Pandora, Slacker, Spotify, to name a few. With the latter two, you may even save music offline, although you'll need to be a paid subscriber to have the feature enabled.

Google apps


Switching from Android to iPhone: tips and tricks you should know

Google's apps and services don't run on Android only, you know. Many of the company's applications can be used on an iPhone as well. So if for some reason the stock email client in iOS does not suit your needs, you may download and use Gmail instead. Google Maps and Google Chrome are also available on iPhone as alternatives to Apple Maps and Safari. Go through the list below and feel free to download every Google app you think you'll need on your iPhone.


Moving Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer bookmarks to Safari


If you've been using Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer for a while, then your list of bookmarks has most likely grown quite a bit. And there has to be an easy way of transferring all these bookmarks to Safari in iOS, right? Well, that's correct. Remember Apple's iCloud Control Panel application that we mentioned earlier? It is capable of synchronizing bookmarks across browsers as well, so you can easily import yours to your iCloud account. 

94 Comments
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posted on 31 Jul 2014, 09:53 17

1. JakeLee (banned) (Posts: 1021; Member since: 02 Nov 2013)


A GREAT GREAT article.

Many people will appreciate this very soon.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 10:15

14. naittosan (Posts: 192; Member since: 28 Jun 2014)


Ditto exallent article.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 10:26 1

21. Mxyzptlk (limited) (Posts: 3510; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Very good article. I like how seamless it is once you've transitioned over.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 10:42 6

25. DonkeySauce (Posts: 158; Member since: 03 Dec 2011)


Tip #1: Don't do it.

posted on 03 Aug 2014, 02:20

94. persondude11 (Posts: 6; Member since: 24 Jul 2010)


Tip #2: (If tip #:1 didn't work) Welcome to Hell.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 11:33 1

36. UglyFrank (Posts: 377; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


Tip 1. Don't do it
tip 2. Buy a power bank
Tip 3. Don't forget to charge thrice a day

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 12:51

52. pulkit1 (Posts: 232; Member since: 03 Jul 2014)


lol u r funny at best .

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 16:17

64. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6399; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Like I will switch from Android to Apple? Don't think so. In my opinion I prefer a device that CAN read all video files and pdf ect or any file to play music video or documents

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 17:03 1

68. darkkjedii (Posts: 11063; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Well sir, let me enlighten you. Android does not natively read quick time movie files. Ouch town, population Gadget80. An app has to be downloaded from google play. Nice try though.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 17:28 2

71. JayQ330 (Posts: 18; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


It'd be a sin for andodist's to use QuickTime, why would anyone? Unless you have to, or don't have a choice...

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 17:30 2

72. darkkjedii (Posts: 11063; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


That's not the point. Read gadgets post again.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 19:09 2

77. Awalker (Posts: 281; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


It's been years since I've see a file using the Quicktime standard. Does it still exist?

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 00:00

86. AfterShock (Posts: 2799; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


It can though.
No limits.

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 01:51 1

90. Clashy (unregistered)


Why would a individual switch from Android 4.4 to Android 1.5 cupcake? Lol

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 09:53 5

2. Ninetysix (Posts: 1574; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


I'll probably be using this guide if the Note 4 disappoints. If i'm not able to root it and has a locked bootloader will be a big no no for me.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 09:58

4. JakeLee (banned) (Posts: 1021; Member since: 02 Nov 2013)


Didn't you know that ARM's TrustZone is a BIG hurdle for creating custom ROMz?

Androtakus' fun with so many ROMz will be over very soon.

Thank you, ARM.

And thanks to Sammy for KNOX, lol.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 10:03 6

6. Heatfan316 (Posts: 411; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)


You got to be out of your mind troll, developers will always find a way around it.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 10:06

7. JakeLee (banned) (Posts: 1021; Member since: 02 Nov 2013)


Well, I wish them good luck

http://www.arm.com/products/processors/technologies/trustzone/index.php

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 10:16 5

16. DanishDynamite (Posts: 26; Member since: 28 Feb 2013)


They (the developers) had a root for the Android L preview the day after it was released, so i'm pretty sure they are going to find a way around trustzone aswell...

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 10:18

18. JakeLee (banned) (Posts: 1021; Member since: 02 Nov 2013)


Keep dreaming.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 10:23

19. Ninetysix (Posts: 1574; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


AT&T Note 3 and Galaxy S5 was unrootable for months and months. Same root exploit used on the S5 is now being used on the Note 3. So it took almost an entire year :(

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 11:15 1

32. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8225; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Not on my T-Mobile Note 3 and S5! :)

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 11:16 1

34. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3197; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Tell me how many months/years does it take to jailbreak a new ios iteration?

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 11:31 1

35. Ninetysix (Posts: 1574; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


No idea but it's not as important for them since iPhones typically doesn't come with any bloat. See how much Samsung and AT&T apps you get on a Galaxy phone. It's absurd. My S4 ROM is bloat free.

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2313469

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 11:50

41. AfterShock (Posts: 2799; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


Doesn't jail break fix a lot of the stability issues with iOS?
Idk, something I heard.
So yeah, timing of that may be important to some.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 11:42

39. iampayne (Posts: 236; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)


It actually only takes a few weeks. Matter of fact the most recent iOS release, 7.1.2 didn't even get patched so Cydia still worked even after it was released. Troll harder

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 11:50 1

42. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3197; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Wait. How was that trolling, is it necessary to jump for attacks in simple replying?

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 17:51

74. JayQ330 (Posts: 18; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


So much for an upgrade then & security then?

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 12:57

53. pulkit1 (Posts: 232; Member since: 03 Jul 2014)


yah it takes sometime like 3-4 months .you have to realise we are comparing a locked down os to android .

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 18:03

75. JayQ330 (Posts: 18; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


Linux is used by people that mostly get around the Linux system using the command prompt, that way they can get around the core Linux os , whether it's a server, Ubuntu, red hat, or any version of Linux OS. Android is Linux at its cite so it's easy to get super user. IOS, is Unix same thing as Linux IMO, they have command prints to & even use Linux apps because it's open source, but since apple is used mostly by computer illiterate's there's less people to help in jail breaking iOS. It's still less secure than android just like jaguar is less secure than windows 7 & 8, where's the fun hacking into something that possess no challenge.

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 12:46

93. pulkit1 (Posts: 232; Member since: 03 Jul 2014)


well actually its more to do with the vast no. of api and access to the core of the os. apple has fewer api and its core is locked down(no source code ) and hence no custom rom. iPhone is not used by computer illiterates it is used by people who want a simpler but still powerful experience . Most mac users have iPhones and if they were illiterates they would not have been able to use mac( not an easy computer to use ).

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 11:33 2

37. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 726; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


Arm trustzone has been circumvented already on many occasions and has been out there for a few years already.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 11:59 1

44. sgodsell (Posts: 1210; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)


What are you babbling about. Trusted zone has been around for years on ARM processors.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 21:11

85. Arte-8800 (limited) (Posts: 4281; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


He calls you a Troll, and you accept it. Surely shows that you are one...?

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 12:36 1

49. engineer-1701d (Posts: 833; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Jake Lee you could be one of the worst fantrols I have ever seen Samsung said they are no longer doing Knox Google picked up some of it and the US. Gov just legalized unlocking bootloader on phones. Again u have jumped to articles you know nothing about, just wait until your precious iPhone comes out and has more Android features like keyboards nfc not sure if they will have Siri since the stolen patents from another company who is currently suing Apple

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 10:17 1

17. AfterShock (Posts: 2799; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


To remove TW?
As otherwise out of the box, no other can match the Note in capabilities, hands down.

You, could also just keep the app drawer open as a home screen to feel right about using a Android too.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 10:07 2

8. ColinW (Posts: 19; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)


I think you should point out iTunes is not as intuitive as Apple makes out. You should also mention users to expect a much worse keyboard, sharing will be much more of a pain, some of their music or videos may not be usable on IOS, Siri will be disappointing after Google Now and that's for starters.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 10:12 1

11. LiquidGalaxy (Posts: 156; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)


Weirdly, apart from the last point, i experienced all those issues when i switched from iPhone to Android...hence switching back again..

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 13:16

55. pulkit1 (Posts: 232; Member since: 03 Jul 2014)


yah apart from iTunes i find myself right at home. well maybe a bigger display would have helped .

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 10:13 2

12. hohogaga (Posts: 17; Member since: 14 Jun 2014)


PREPARE TO MOVE FROM GOOGLE`S FREEDOM TO APPLE`S PRISON !!

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 10:15 2

15. LiquidGalaxy (Posts: 156; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)


Lol...Go and do some 'rooting' or 'flashing' or whatever you droidbots call it...

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 10:14 2

13. AfterShock (Posts: 2799; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


As if.
Apple folks continually need help, even on their iOS, nature of the beast when its fad based like that.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 10:27 4

22. Dude2014 (Posts: 139; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)


I'm not that stupid to switch from advanced OS to noob and kiddo friendly OS. So no, thanks!

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 10:37 1

24. naittosan (Posts: 192; Member since: 28 Jun 2014)


Well if the Samsung Alpha was more than a cheap mid-range phone I would have went for it. I also will not buy a year old s5 or a huge screen note that I do not need. So that pretty much leave iPhone as the only choice.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 10:42 1

27. AfterShock (Posts: 2799; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


Really, not even a 920?
Nexus 5, S4, G2, Z3, 720, 1020 or other countless contenders?
So just on size an specs, an you're looking at iOS, oh ok., enjoy.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 12:41

50. engineer-1701d (Posts: 833; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


How do you call the Alpha midrange it will basically be the same thing as the Apple 6

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 10:42 6

26. DonkeySauce (Posts: 158; Member since: 03 Dec 2011)


Tip #1, don't do it.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 11:07

29. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3197; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Let's be honest. Not everyone is loyal to OS platforms. I bet many iWannabes used android, just for the lack of a big screen on iphones. Now that iphone 6 will finally have a decent large screen, many android users would jump the ship.
Just my two cents.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 11:15

33. Gdrye (Posts: 103; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)


the at&t transfer app works wonders for text messages as well, you can download it from both app stores, and also does mms as well

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 11:46

40. iampayne (Posts: 236; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)


LMAO at this comment section. Someone should do an entire comedy sketch where they just read the comments from an Apple article on a tech site, they would kill the show.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 11:57

43. Losdog25 (Posts: 24; Member since: 28 Aug 2009)


Yea I know more people switching to android from iPhones! Will see what happens when they kid bigger screens.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 12:11

46. Losdog25 (Posts: 24; Member since: 28 Aug 2009)


Whoops get

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 11:59 1

45. PHYCLOPSH (Posts: 7; Member since: 28 Jun 2014)


I don't know why anyone would do something so terrible.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 12:22 1

47. t3st001 (Posts: 8; Member since: 28 May 2012)


LOL useless article, nobody switch from Android to iPhone.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 12:29

48. Ninetysix (Posts: 1574; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Must be awesome being able to predict the future. Gimme the next winning lottery numbers please.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 13:13

54. pulkit1 (Posts: 232; Member since: 03 Jul 2014)


lot of people switch sides , stop assuming thing chump .

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 12:43

51. engineer-1701d (Posts: 833; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


16,34,52,9,64

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 13:37

56. Totse2k15 (Posts: 249; Member since: 11 Feb 2014)


Why the f should I switch to an iPhone... The size/screen size is not for me.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 13:45

57. Ninetysix (Posts: 1574; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


How big/small do you usually like it? --no homo.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 13:51

58. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8225; Member since: 14 May 2012)


This has got to be one of the greatest comments I've ever seen on this website.

I can not use a phone 4.7" or lower. The Moto X I had was a challenge after using the Note 3.

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