With the recent releases of the Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC One, and the Nexus 4, there’s a pretty good chance that, as an iPhone user, you may be looking at switching over. These Android phones have been creating a lot of buzz because of the great hardware and software they’ve been packing. However, switching over to Android isn’t as easy as simply picking up the new phone — or at least not as long as you have contacts, pictures, music, and more that you’d like to move over. How can you do this as quickly and painlessly as possible? Sadly, there isn’t a single utility which can do everything for you automatically, but with a minimal amount of effort you’ll get things moved over in no time.
Copying your contacts over to your new phone is highly important because without numbers, you can’t contact anyone. Moving them over is also better than starting fresh and asking everyone for their numbers — I dislike people who do this despite the fact that they’ve been using a smartphone. To move contacts, we’re going to take advantage of the fact that you’ll need to sign into a Google account in order to make the most use of your Android phone. As Android can synchronize contacts with your Google account, you can enable Contact sync to Google on your iPhone, and your contacts will appear on your Android phone!
How do you go about enabling Google Contacts sync on your iPhone? Go into your Settings app, choose Mail, Contacts, Calendars, then tap on Add Account. In there, choose Other, followed by Add CardDAV Account. You’ll then need to enter “google.com” for the server field (minus the quotes), and your full email address in the user name field, followed by the Google account’s password in the password field and a useful description in the description field. Tap on Next and then make sure that the Contacts option is turned on. Google should now be receiving your complete contacts!
Calendars and Mail
People who use iCloud calendars will have to purchase SmoothSync for Cloud Calendar, or otherwise switch to a Google calendar. You can import calendar events from your iCloud calendars into a Google calendar, but it’ll take a bit of work. First, you’ll need to go the iCloud calendar site and log in. Next, you’ll need to publicly share the calendar which contains the events you’d like to import. Then, copy the URL for that calendar and paste it into your browser’s address field, but don’t hit enter yet. Change the http portion of the address to webcal, and then hit enter. This should initiate a file download of the .ics file that you’ll need for importing. Now, head over to Google’s calendar site, and under the Other Calendars dropdown menu, choose Import Calendar. Then choose the downloaded .ics file and choose which calendar the imported events should go to.
Finally, you should be able to use your regular email addresses after setting them up on your Android phone, no matter with which service it is as long as they support POP or IMAP.
There are a few ways in which you can transfer your music over to your Android device. The first option is to use Google Music if it is available in your country. Users using any operating system can download the Google Music Manager and have it upload all of your music from any source, including iTunes. Once it’s all uploaded, you’ll be able to see it all on your Android phone’s music app, ready for playback. Google Music operates by hosting your music on its servers and then streaming it on demand to your phone. While this saves space on your phone, you’ll need a data connection in order to reach your music. If you’d like to keep some or all of it on your device, just choose the music and select Keep on Device for playback anywhere. If Google Music isn’t an option for you, you can also give doubleTwist, a music app with iTunes synchronization support, a try. Alternatively, you can instead connect your Android phone to your computer via a USB cable, and then use a file explorer to copy your music files from your computer to the phone. It’ll then automatically recognize your music and list all of it in the music app.
When it comes to transferring photos, you can use a number of tools which upload them to the cloud. You can use either Google+’s automatic upload feature to host all of your pictures in a private folder on Google+, or you can use Dropbox’s Camera Upload feature to upload your pictures to your Dropbox account. While the pictures won’t be stored on your Android phone, they will be accessible via an available data connection. If you’d like to have the pictures stored on your Android phone, you’ll need to hook it up to a computer via a USB cable and use a file explorer to copy the pictures over to the phone. It will automatically recognize them and show them in the Gallery app.
If you’re looking to transfer apps, you’re out of luck. As iOS and Android are two entirely different platforms that are built in completely different ways, you cannot take an iOS app and move it over to Android. For this, you’ll need to go app by app and download the identical version for Android or a similar replacement if the app is an iOS exclusive. However, if you’ve paid for a lot of apps on iOS, the good news is that a lot of the same apps are available for free (although they will instead be ad-supported). Once you’ve downloaded all the apps you’d like, you won’t have to worry any more. If you ever have to switch to a different Android device, it will automatically check your Google account to see which apps it should reinstall for you.
Hopefully these tips have provided you with some guidance on how to switch over to Android. I absolutely love my phone and I see people switching over every day. If you’re one of these people, give Android a try and tell us how the switch went! If you need additional information on getting started with Android, check out our Android Guide!