Apple creates 'Move to iOS' app to pull Android users away from Google

The application will let people who use Google's platform transition wirelessly to one of Apple's devices.

ios9 move to ios from android
Credit: Apple

The iPhone 6 has been more successful than previous versions of the smartphone at drawing Android users away from Google’s mobile platform, and Apple wants to capitalize on that with a new app that makes it easier for them to make the switch.

Later this year, a new “Move to iOS” app will wirelessly transfer a user’s “contacts, message history, camera photos and videos, web bookmarks, mail accounts, calendars, wallpaper, and DRM-free songs and books” from an Android phone to their new iPhone.

The switching process will also suggest that they install free apps from their Android device that are also available on Apple’s App Store, so switchers can quickly get back on their feet with their favorite apps like Facebook and Twitter. Paid apps that they have on Android with iOS versions available will be added to a user’s wish list in the iOS App Store.

According to Apple, the whole process will be handled “securely” so that a user’s personal information doesn’t get exposed. It’s not clear exactly how the process works yet, and how aggressive Apple will be when it comes to migrating users away from Google’s services. For example, it’s possible that the process will move all of the contacts a user has stored with Google over to iCloud—Apple hasn’t said one way or another.

Once the process is done, the Android app will helpfully prompt users to recycle their Android phone, just to keep them from going back to Google’s mobile platform unless they buy a new phone.

The app wasn’t announced on stage Monday morning during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, but it appeared on the promotional page the company created to show off its new mobile operating system ahead of its launch later this year.

Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts during the company’s January financial results conference call that the current iPhone lineup “experienced the highest Android switcher rate in any of the last three launches in any of the three previous years.” This app should help accelerate that trend by making it even easier for people to switch over.

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