by James A. Martin

How to easily transfer iPhone data to Android

Dec 29, 2016
AndroidConsumer ElectronicsiOS

For iOS users who want to escape Apple's walled garden, the path to Android is now smoother thanks to a new Google Drive feature, as well as some other trusty tools.

If you’re an iOS loyalist, you have only a handful of current smartphones to choose from: iPhone SE, iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, or the latest models, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

On the Android side, it’s a very different story, with tons of smartphones from companies including LG, HTC, Google, Samsung and Sony. You want variety? Android gives you variety.

So you decided to make the switch. But how do you move all your iPhone stuff to an Android? A new backup feature in the Google Drive iOS app can help.

How to move iPhone contacts, calendar, photos and videos to Android

Google recently added a feature to the Google Drive app for iOS that helps you switch to Android. (Google, of course, has a vested interest in helping you make that switch.) The backup feature saves your contacts, calendar events, photos and videos to Google Drive. From there, you can easily download that content to your new Android device, using the Drive Android app. If you already use Google Calendar and Gmail on your iPhone, you don’t need to backup your appointments or email.

To access the backup feature, open the Google Drive app, go to Settings > Backup, and choose to backup contacts, calendar events, and photos and videos. Be aware, however, that the process can take hours, especially if you have lots of photos and video on your phone.

google drive backup 2 Google

It’s also worth noting that Google outlined the steps for migrating iPhone data to a Google Pixel smartphone, which includes copying contacts and downloaded music, though there are some exceptions.

How to move iPhone text messages, music and videos to Android

Moving your Apple Message conversations to your Android device can be trickier. The free iSMS2droid app is a popular choice that takes some — but not all — of the pain out of the process. Samsung’s Smart Switch software can help transfer messages, as well as music, photos, videos and more from an iOS, BlackBerry or other Android device, though it’s designed for use with Samsung products.

Transferring music files from your iPhone to an Android device can also be a little complicated. I recommend the freemium doubleTwist Music Player app. It isn’t perfect — it currently doesn’t support podcast sync, for instance — but it’s a good starting point.

Of course, your iOS apps won’t work on Android, though Android versions of the same software may be available

Also, you might want to check out Android Authority‘s helpful step-by-step guide for transferring content from iTunes to Android, or Digital Trends’ “How to switch from iOS to Android without missing a beat.”

What if you change your mind?

If you jump over to Android, live there for a while, and regret your move, Apple’s Move to iOS guide should help you find your way back.