Transfer data from iPhone to Android: Step-by-step guide (2023)

So you ditched your old laggy iPhone and got yourself a brand new Android smartphone. Welcome to Team Android, you can now ease in. Using an Android device is pretty easy, but if you are using it after years of being an iPhone user and were stuck to the Apple ecosystem, you might encounter some bumps and bruises down the road when setting it up for the first time.

Since we’re talking about a transition between two whole different platforms, you might need some assistance to move your data from iPhone to Android. With a bit of preparation and by following the guides below, you can move what matters to you from your old iPhone and get your new Android device up and running in no time.

In this post, we’ll discuss things you might need to know when making the transition from iOS to Android, get to know what you can and can’t copy, how you can move data from your iPhone automatically and individually transfer content when there isn’t any OEM tool to use.

Related: How to wipe an iPhone

Transfer from iPhone to Android: Know what you CAN copy

When switching from an iPhone to Android, you can transfer a bunch of things from your old smartphone to the new device, even with a change in platform. Here are a few things that you can easily transfer from your iPhone to Android without any hassles:

  • Contacts: You can export all of your contacts either manually or through Google Drive to access them on your new Android phone without worries.
  • Calendar: Similar to syncing contacts from iPhone to Android, you can also save everything in your calendar to your Google account and it should show up without any issues on your Android device.
  • Pictures and videos saved on your iPhone: All your pictures and videos saved on your iPhone locally can be backed up to Google using Google Photos and since that’s the native gallery app on most Android devices, you can access the Google Photos app to view them again.
  • Most free apps on App Store: For the most part of the switching, you will have no issues with most of the apps that you might have installed on your phone. That’s because most developers host their apps on both App Store and Google Play and to use them on your Android device, you just need to install them by browsing through the latter.
  • Apple Music: Unlike other Apple apps and services, fortunately for you, Apple Music is something you can access directly on Android with ease. You can use it by downloading the Apple Music app from Google Play and log in to your account to access your library as it was on your iPhone.
  • Some App data synchronized with its own account: Like Apple Music, apps that synchronize data on their own by creating personal accounts can be used without needing to start up from scratch. This can be said about apps like Spotify which create an online profile for you to access no matter which device you sign in from.

Related: How to turn off location on an iPhone

Transfer from iPhone to Android:  Know what you CANNOT copy

If you have decided to match the switch to Android from your older iPhone, you should know that there are a few things that you stand to lose in this process of transition. Here are a handful of stuff you might not be able to copy from your iPhone to the new Android when making the switch:

  • Apps not available on Google Play: While the Google Store has almost everything you throw at it there might still be a few apps that might be exclusive to iOS. This means if you have installed an iOS app on your iPhone but the app doesn’t offer an Android alternative, you will have to make things do with something else.
  • Paid apps: If you have purchased an app or two from Apple’s App Store, then you wouldn’t be glad to know that if you wish to use those apps on Android and you will have to pay for them again on the Google Play Store, provided their Android alternatives are available in the first place.
  • In-app purchases: Similar to what happens to paid apps on the App Store, there’s absolutely no correlation between the App Store and Google Play and because of that, your in-app purchases toward a specific app on the former won’t be transferred to the latter. This means, if you wish to access in-access elements of a certain app on your Android phone, you will have to purchase them again from Google Play.
  • App data: Although you can download and install most apps on Android that you previously used on an iPhone, you definitely will have to start from scratch when it comes to using it. This is because, in addition to paid apps and app purchases, you will also not be able to transfer app data from your iPhone to Android. App data will only be available when using apps with a particular login and one which stores data over the cloud, like many Google apps and services.
  • Any file, photo, video, document stored on iCloud: While Google Drive is available on both iOS and Android, the same is not the case for iCloud. Apple’s online file storage service can only be accessed on iOS and macOS and not on Android. What this means is, if you have a bunch of files, photos, videos, and documents saved on iCloud, you cannot directly use them on your Android device but will instead have to download and move them manually to access them again.
  • Phone settings: Since iOS and Android are two completely different platforms, you simply cannot transfer your phone settings from one OS to another. What we mean is, if you have saved WiFi passwords, Bluetooth connections, display, sound, and other settings on your iPhone, there’s no way to transfer those things to your new Android device. You will have to set up your Android device on your own from scratch.
  • Safari bookmarks: If you use Chrome, Firefox, or Brave, you can sync your bookmarks and web activity across iOS, Android, and other platforms. However, the same is not true if you were previously using Safari as your default browser on your phone because Safari unlike other popular browsers is only available on Apple devices. To save your bookmarks from Safari, you will first have to export them to another browser on your iPhone and then you can access them on its Android app.
  • iTunes Music: Songs and titles on Apple’s iTunes app are limited to iTunes DRM protection meaning, you cannot copy music, movies, or TV shows from your iTunes to your new Android device. You can, however, use the Music Manager application on your computer to sync songs, podcasts, and playlists to Google Play Music that should be helpful to some extent.
  • WhatsApp chat history: If you’re still motivated toward making the switching from iPhone to Android, one major concern should be the inability to transfer your WhatsApp chat history. Like we mentioned before, you cannot move app data between iOS and Android which also includes the chat history on WhatsApp. However, there’s a workaround for it which we have mentioned below.
  • Contacts and Calendar not synched to Google or iCloud: If you’re someone who relied on a third-party online storage provider other than iCloud or Google to synchronize contacts and calendar on your iPhone, then the chances of moving it to Android is marginal and there’s no guarantee that it would work on your Android device.

Related: Related: How to access files on iPhone

Transfer from iPhone to Android: Know your app alternatives on Android

Before you start transferring data from your old iPhone to your new Android, you must know that not all apps that you used on iOS would be available on Android. This is important because most of the Apple apps you might be using right now can no longer be accessed on an Android and that’s when you start looking for Android app alternatives for the concerned apps.

Following is a list of apps that you can install on Android through Google Play and their iOS equivalents.

Android app (Google Play) iOS app (App Store)
Google Contacts Contacts
Messages iMessage
Gmail Apple Mail
Google Play Store Apple App Store
Google Calendar Apple Calendar
Google Chrome Safari
Google Photos Photos
Google Drive iCloud Drive
YouTube Music Apple Music / iTunes
Google Docs Apple Pages
Google Sheets Apple Numbers
Google Slides Apple Keynote
Google Maps Apple Maps
Google Keep Notes
Google Fit Health
Google Duo FaceTime
Android Auto CarPlay

Transferring from iPhone to Android AUTOMATICALLY

When switching over to the Android side of things, many major OEMs provide solutions of their own to help users transfer all of their data from an iPhone. If you’re switching from iPhone to a Samsung phone you can use Smart Switch; or use Google’s Quick Switch Adapter for switching to a Google Pixel phone; or use the OnePlus Switch app to enable transfer between your iPhone and OnePlus device.

We’re providing a complete guide below which should help you set up your new Android automatically from an iPhone.

When switching to a Google Pixel

If you are switching from an iPhone to a Google Pixel, then you should be glad that Google provides a neat way to copy your data directly using the Quick Switch Adapter that comes out of the box with a Pixel phone. What this means in, you can copy the contents of your iPhone through a wired connection to a Pixel device with no additional software needed to be installed.

Before you start transferring data from iPhone to a Pixel, you should consider the following things:

  • Physical access to both your phone and Pixel, fully charged
  • Make sure your iPhone is up to date
  • iMessage is turned OFF
  • You have the Quick Switch Adapter that came with your Pixel phone
  • Your iPhone’s Lightning-to-USB data cable (the one you used to charge it)
  • A SIM with working internet connection or WiFi network

Once you have taken care of all the aforementioned things, you can proceed to move data from iPhone to Android. Start up your Pixel phone for the first time by pressing the Power button on the right, then tap on the ‘Start’ button on the bottom right corner of the screen. On the next screen, you can insert the SIM card with the internet or skip the step to connect to a WiFi network on the next screen.

After you’re done connecting your new Pixel to the internet, you will be taken to the ‘Copy apps & data’ screen on your Pixel. On this screen, tap on the ‘Next’ button at the bottom right corner and then ‘Next’ again on the ‘Use your old phone’ screen.

You will now have to connect your old iPhone to one end of its Lightning-to-USB data cable and then connect the other end to the suitable end of the Quick Switch Adapter that came with your Pixel phone.

After you have arranged that connection, it’s time for you to connect the other end of the Quick Switch Adapter to your Pixel phone. You will be asked to tap on a series of ‘Next’ buttons on the Pixel until you reach the ‘Check your other phone screen’.

When you connect the iPhone to Pixel, you will be asked to confirm when you trust the new device. Tap on the ‘Trust’ option from the dialog that appears on your iPhone. After that, on your Pixel, sign in to your Google account or create one and tap ‘Next’. You will also have to agree to Google’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy on the next page.

The next screen is the most important step in this procedure as you will be shown a list of things you want to be copied onto your Pixel. When you reach the ‘Choose what to copy’ screen, make sure you check the boxes adjacent to the things you want to transfer from iPhone to Pixel. You can choose any of these things to copy from your old iPhone – Contacts, Photos, Videos, Messages, message attachments, call history, apps, calendars, music, and wallpaper.

After selecting the items to copy, tap on the ‘Copy’ button on your Pixel to start the transfer process. After all the selected items have been copied, you will be able to see a summary and then tap on ‘Done’ to experience the goodness of a Pixel phone straight away.

When switching to a Samsung phone

Similar to that of Google, Samsung also offers its own way of helping users switch from an iPhone to a Galaxy device using the Samsung Smart Switch app. Like on the Pixel, you will need to use the Smart Switch app to connect your old device to the new one and move all your data to the new phone.

While Samsung allows you to use the Smart Switch via different routes – wired connection, wirelessly and using PC/Mac backup, if you want to copy most of your data from the iPhone, you should go for setting it up through a wired connection. Below is a list of content you can transfer from an iPhone to a Samsung device and the things you might miss to copy when choosing NOT to use a wired connection.

Before you start transferring data from iPhone to a Samsung device, you should consider the following things:

  • You have physical access to both the iPhone and Samsung device and they are fully charged
  • Make sure your iPhone is up to date
  • iMessage is turned OFF
  • You have a USB-C (micro-USB for older Samsung phones) to USB adapter that connects to your Samsung phone
  • All your iPhone data has been backed up to iCloud
  • You have installed the Smart Switch app installed on your Samsung phone

After you have taken care of all the pointers mentioned above, you can proceed to start making the switching to your new Samsung phone. On the Samsung device, open the Smart Switch app and agree to the terms of service. Inside the ‘Bring your data to your new phone’ screen, tap on the ‘Receive Data’ option and then select the ‘Cable’ option on the next screen as the preferred way of establishing a connection between your iPhone and Samsung phone.

The next step is really important as this is where you establish a connection between your iPhone and Samsung device using the relevant cables. Connect your iPhone to the suitable side of the Lightning cable and then connect the other end of this cable to the USB to USB-C OTG adapter. With the USB-C side of the adapter, connect your Samsung phone to complete the connection between your iPhone and Samsung device.

Upon a successful connection between the device, you will see the ‘Get connected’ screen on your Samsung phone. Tap on ‘Next’ on this screen and then on your iPhone, tap on ‘Trust’ when iOS prompts you asking whether you trust the connected device.

You might have to enter your iPhone passcode when prompted and after that Smart Switch will search your iPhone for content to transfer to your new phone. If you have enabled encrypted backup on iOS, you might also require to enter your iOS encryption password to start transferring data.

Once that’s taken care of, Smart Switch will now show you a list of things you will be able to transfer from the iPhone to your new Samsung device. Select the things you wish to copy and then tap on the ‘Transfer’ button on your Samsung device. The app will now start copying content from your iPhone and you show you the progress and time left for the process to complete.

When the transfer is complete, you will be greeted with a message saying you can now safely disconnect the devices. However, you still have one more step to go through.

After a successful transfer, Smart Switch will show you a summary of the content that was copied onto your new phone at the end of which you will be shown a list of Android versions of your iOS apps that you can download on your new phone. You can select which apps you want to keep and install them depending on what you prefer.

There you go! You can now use your Samsung phone with data from your previous iPhone. But if you missed out on it, you can take a look at this video from Samsung itself that should help.

When switching to a OnePlus phone

If you just bought a new OnePlus phone, you’re in luck because the company also offers a route to exploit when switching from an iPhone. You can do this using the OnePlus Switch app on both the iPhone and OnePlus device and allow it to transfer contacts, messages, photos, video, and more from your iOS device to your new phone. Due to restrictions placed by Apple on data access from iPhones, you won’t be able to copy as much data from your iPhone as you can on Samsung and Pixel phones.

In order to move data from your iPhone to a new OnePlus device, you need to download and install the OnePlus Switch app on the latter. You also need to make sure:

  • All your iPhone data has been backed up to iCloud
  • You know your iCloud credentials
  • You have a working mobile internet or wireless connection

To back up your iPhone data to iCloud, open the Settings app on your iPhone, go to Apple ID > iCloud > iCloud Backup, and then tap on ‘Back Up Now’.

Once you have backed-up all of your important data to iCloud, you can now proceed to migrate them onto your OnePlus phone. To do so, open the OnePlus Switch app on your OnePlus phone, select the ‘I’m a new phone’ option, and inside the ‘Select your old device’ screen, choose ‘iPhone’.

In the next screen, you will be asked to sign in to your iCloud account. Enter your Apple ID and passcode and then tap on the ‘Sign in’ button. After signing-in to your iCloud account, you can select the various type of content you want to be copied onto your new phone and start importing.

OnePlus recommends that for this process to complete without problems, you should be connected to a stable Wi-Fi network. If during this process, you’re disconnected from the iCloud server, you can log in to iCloud again and pick up with the data transmission from where you left off.

Transferring from iPhone to Android MANUALLY

If you’re transferring from an iPhone to an Android device from an OEM other than Samsung, Google, or OnePlus, then chances are that you won’t be able to get it done automatically. In those situations, you will have to copy all your important data from your iPhone to your new Android device individually and manually. But worry now, we’ll guide you every step of the way to make this transition easy for you.

Back up contacts, calendar, and pictures

The very first thing you would want to get when moving to a new phone is all your contacts and with that all of your appointments and schedules. You might also want to access all of your older photos and videos from your iPhone camera roll onto the new Android device. Fortunately, Google provides a one-stop solution that lets you transfer all three of these things at the same time.

To do this, you need to install the Google Drive app on your iPhone and sign in to your Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, you can create one using the on-screen instructions provided within the app. After you have installed Google Drive on your iPhone, migrating your stuff from iOS to Android is pretty much a simple affair.

Start the process by opening the Google Drive app, tap on the app’s menu icon, and go to Settings > Backup. You will now be able to select the content you want to copy from your iPhone and these include – Contacts, Calendar, Photos, and Videos. You can tap on each one of them to modify what and how you want them to be backed up.

Before you start backing up, check how you are uploading your photos and videos. Google offers you two options to store your photos – Unlimited “high quality” photos for free or Original full quality photos that take up your Google Drive storage (up to 15GB for a free Google account). If you have a ton of photos and videos to back up, we suggest you choose the first option – High quality which doesn’t entirely mean that your photos’ quality is compromised.

After selecting which content to back up, tap on the ‘Start backup’ button on the bottom right corner. Wait until all your selected iPhone is backed up and then move on to your new Android.

On your Android device, sign in with the same Google account you used to back up things on your iPhone. You can download and install these three apps to access all the things that were backed up which in most cases will be available to you out-of-the-box. If not, you can download them using the links below:

Each of these apps should show you everything that was backed up from your iPhone.

Turning OFF iMessage

Before you make the move to Android, you will need to disable iMessage on your iPhone to continue to get text messages on your new Android phone. Leaving it enabled could result in some of your SMS and MMS to go to your iPhone. To turn OFF iMessage, open the Settings app on your iPhone, select ‘Messages’, and toggle OFF the ‘iMessage’ switch. You can also disable FaceTime in the Settings app as well in a similar way.

In addition to this, deregister your phone number with iMessage by going to this Apple’s Deregister iMessage webpage, entering your phone number under the ‘No longer have your iPhone?’ section, and confirming the process by entering a 6-digit code that you receive on your SIM. After this, you can switch your physical SIM from your iPhone to your new Android.

Switching over to Gmail

If you’re someone who was already using Gmail as your primary email address, then you won’t have a problem switching to Android as its default mail app is none other than Gmail. All you need to do is sign in to your Android device with the same Google account that you previously used and all your emails will load up in the Gmail app.

However, if you’re someone who was dependent on Apple’s Mail app, you will be disappointed to know that like other Apple apps, there’s no direct way to access your iCloud emails on Android. But there’s a solution to that which involves adding an iCloud email address to your Gmail app.

To add your iCloud email address to Gmail on your Android device, you will first need to create an app-specific password to access iCloud on your new phone. What this basically means is you’re creating an alternative password for accessing your iCloud email address only on a particular device.

On your iPhone, go to appleid.apple.com and sign in using your Apple ID. Upon signing in, tap on the ‘Security’ section and then select the ‘Generate Password’ option under ‘App-Specific Passwords’. On the next page, set a name for this password and tap on ‘Create’. Apple will now generate a password for you to use to help set up iCloud email on your Android device. Jot down this password.

On your Android device, open the Settings app, go to Accounts > Add Account, and select ‘Personal (IMAP)’.

In the next screen, enter your iCloud email address and tap on ‘Next’. Now enter the app-specific password that you generated for your iCloud on your iPhone previously and tap ‘Next’.

You will now be able to use iCloud on the Gmail app on your Android device with no problem.

Moving from Apple to Google Apps and, Services

Until a few years ago, Apple’s App Store, its apps and services were known to be the most maintained, integrated, and secure service. Fast forward to present times, Google has not only streamlined the kind of services and apps it offers but has also maintained the security and compatibility of these services across a multitude of platforms.

It’s not just Apple who offers cross-platform continuity with iCloud and Safari, Android can do pretty much the same if you’re signed in to a Google account across various devices. In some ways, you might even find there are better apps made by Google than the ones from Apple, like Google Maps, YouTube, Drive to name a few.

Not only are there Google app alternatives for every app that Apple offers natively on an iPhone, but Google also offers some services which can be used on Android and are better in many aspects. Some of those are:

  • Google Pay for payments
  • Google Play Pass as alternate to Apple Arcade
  • Google Stadia console-like gaming via streaming
  • Google Podcasts for hosting and listening to podcasts
  • Chromecast to stream movies, music and more to TV like AirPlay
  • Google Assistant that’s known to be better at query-solving than Siri
  • Wear OS instead of Apple’s watchOS
  • Google Duo as an alternative for FaceTime

Getting your music on Android

If you were subscribed to Apple Music on your iPhone and you’re wondering if you might longer be able to use them on your Android phone, then worry not. You can just go ahead and download the Apple Music app from Google Play to continue using it.

In case you’re someone who stores music files locally or on iCloud Drive, your only option is to download all of your files and then move them to your new phone. You can either upload the downloaded music files to something like Google Drive or Dropbox or physically transfer them to your new Android device using the cable that came with it.

One more way to transfer your music files to Android will be to download and install Music Manager, sign in to your Google account, and your music collection by following this guide provided by Google.

However, if you, like most of us, were using music-streaming services like Spotify, Deezer, SoundCloud, Pandora, and others, then you can use them easily on your Android phone by simply downloading the relevant apps from Google Play or using the links from down below:

Back up other files and transfer between iCloud Drive and Google Drive

For transferring files other than photos, contacts, calendars, and music that are stored on your iCloud Drive, you can use a computer to log in to iCloud and then download all the files that you need to move to Android. Since there is no direct way of transfering files between iCloud Drive and Google Drive, you will have to manually download files from iCloud Drive and then upload them on Google Drive.

To download your files from iCloud Drive, head over to the iCloud Drive homepage on your computer and sign in with your Apple ID. After you sign in, you can select a file or folder you want to download and click on the ‘Download’ icon as we’ve highlighted in the screenshot below. You can download multiple files and folders by pressing Control (Windows) or Command (Mac) keys on your keyboard and then making the selections.

After you have downloaded all the files you wish to transfer, open the Google Drive webpage on your computer and sign in with your Google account if you already haven’t. Inside the Google Drive homepage, click on the ‘+ New’ bubble on the left sidebar and select either of the two options – File upload or Folder Upload. Select the folders and files you downloaded on your computer from the iCloud Drive and then let them get uploaded.

You can now access all of those files on your Android device by opening the Google Drive app.

Using Nearby Share instead of Airdrop

Google recently launched its Airdrop-alternative that you can use to send and receive files and other content with anyone who’s nearby you with the launch of Nearby Share. Nearby Share lets you share something with friends or family who’s nearby you without needing to open a messaging or file-sharing app and searching for the device you want to send files to.

We have prepared the following guide for you to learn more about the feature and how can you use it on your Android device in the link below.

How to force get Nearby Share on your Android phone and are you eligible

Transferring your WhatsApp chat history

Since there are key differences between apps on iOS and Android, sometimes a basic functionality might be hard to duplicate when transitioning between an iPhone and an Android smartphone. One utility that has proved to be the most important one in our lives is WhatsApp and it’s the one that can give you a tough time when you decide to move to the Android side of things.

When moving from iOS to Android, WhatsApp doesn’t let you transfer all of your old chats using its backup functionality. However, you can move an individual chat from iPhone to Android using the export chat feature in WhatsApp. After exporting all your important chats, you can import them on your Android phone by using the Restore function.

To start backing up a single chat thread, open WhatsApp, select the chat you want to back up and tap on the ‘Profile’ of the contact at the top of your screen.

Scroll down and tap on ‘Export Chat’.

iOS will now ask you if you wish to export your media along with the chat. Tap on the option of your choice.

Your chat will now be exported in a .zip format and you can repeat the process for each of the chats you wish to save and then send the .ZIP files to your Android device using Google Drive or sharing them over through email.

How to Restore Whatsapp Messages on New iPhone

On your Android device, uninstall WhatsApp if you had already downloaded and set it up prior to restoring. Now, download all the chat export .ZIP files that you exported from your iPhone on your Android device. After this, download and install the WhatsApp app from Google Play and use the ‘Restore’ option to load up all your exported chats from the iPhone.

https://youtu.be/VDtnlrF_XJk

Get to know your new Android

Now that you have transferred everything there is from your iPhone to your new Android device, what’s left is to get to know your new smartphone so that you can make the most of it. If your Android phone is relatively new, it’s probably running on Android 11 or Android 10 and both of them are easy and similar to use.

We will try to explain all the basic things you can do on your new Android device in brief:

  • Go Home from any screen by swiping up from the bottom and letting go.
  • Go back on an app by swiping from either the left or right edges of your phone.
  • Open Recent apps by swiping up from the bottom and stopping your finger mid-way through the screen.
  • Move between apps by swiping left or right on the bottom bar.
  • Launch your app library by swiping by on your home screen.
  • Look at your notifications by swiping down once on your home screen.
  • Access Quick Settings by swiping down twice on your home screen.
  • Change your phone settings by opening the Settings app from the App launcher or swiping down twice on your home screen and tapping the cogwheel icon inside Quick Settings.
  • Download new apps by searching on Google Play.
  • Use widgets on your home screen by tapping and holding on your home screen and dragging a widget that’s listed on the screen.

You can learn your way through Android by just starting to use it on your own. Give it a go, it’s not going to bite you. Here are some posts we’ve prepared to help you learn more about using Android 11:

We hope we covered all grounds to help you smoothen your transition from iPhone to Android in this post. If you have any doubts regarding the subject, let us know in the comments below or share it with those who wish to learn more about switching to Android. 

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Ajaay

Ambivalent, unprecedented, and on the run from everyone's idea of reality. A consonance of love for filter coffee, cold weather, Arsenal, AC/DC, and Sinatra.

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