How to Transfer from Android to iPhone

How to Transfer from Android to iPhone

You’ve finally done it. You’ve ditched your old Android phone for Apple’s latest and greatest iPhone. Whether you planned on switching from Android to iPhone a while ago or made a spur-of-the-moment decision recently, you’re past the point of no return. But now you’re faced with a dilemma: figuring out a way to transfer your apps, music, contacts, photos, and videos from your old Android phone to your new iOS device. No matter how you slice it, it’s an intimidating prospect — especially if you’ve got a lot of data to move.

Thankfully, apps like Google Photos, Move to iPhone, and iTunes make transferring data from Android to iOS more seamless than ever. Our detailed guide breaks the process down into its component parts, covering how to transfer apps, contacts, videos, music albums from any Android phone to iPhone with free apps and minimal hassle.

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By Kyle Wiggers 


How to Transfer Apps From Android to iPhone

If you’ve used your old Android phone for any length of time, you’ve probably downloaded and installed a few apps you’d like to keep when you make the switch to iPhone. Unfortunately, Android apps aren’t compatible with iOS, the iPhone’s operating system — put very simplistically, the two don’t share the same underlying code.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that many of Android’s most popular apps, including heavy hitters like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Maps, and hundreds of thousands of others, are available on iOS. Not all of them are free, and you can’t transfer your purchases from the Google Play Store on Android to the App Store on iOS — you’ll have to buy paid apps (and any premium in-app items) again. But that’s a small price to pay for iPhone-compatible versions of most, if not all, of your favorite Android apps.

Transferring Apps to iPhone with Move to iOS

Finding the iOS equivalent of Android apps used to be an exercise in frustration; you had to search for every app individually. Thanks to Apple’s Move to iOS app for Android, though, there’s no need to do the heavy lifting yourself anymore. It’ll find apps for you.

When you’re ready to get started, install Move to iOS on your Android phone. It’s available for free the Google Play Store.

Note: You’ll need an iPhone running iOS 9 or later and an Android device running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or newer. If either of your devices falls short of the minimum requirements, you won’t be able to use Move to iOS.

Move to iOS
Move to iOS
Developer: Apple Inc.
Price: Free

Assuming you haven’t set up your new iPhone yet, power it on and select the default system language. (If you have set it up, you’ll have to perform a factory reset by heading to Settings GeneralReset and selecting Erase all content and settings.) Then follow these steps:

  1. On your iPhone, after you reach the Apps & Data screen, tap Move Data from Android. Your iPhone will create a private Wi-Fi network and locate your nearby Android device.

  2. Switch to your Android phone. Open the Move to iOS app, tap Continue, and agree to the terms and conditions. Select the Next button on the Find Your Code screen (you’ll find it in the top-right corner).

  3. Back on the iPhone, tap the Continue link on the Move from Android screen. You’ll get a six-digit or ten-digit code; copy it to the Transfer Data screen on your Android phone.

  4. Wait for the progress bar to complete on both the iPhone and Android phone; it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Then tap the Done button on Android and Continue on iOS.

That’s it. Move to iOS will automatically find any free (but not paid) Android apps on your old phone that have a corresponding listing in the iTunes App Store. It’ll also transfer any locally stored contacts, text messages, photos and videos, web bookmarks, email accounts, and calendars.

Transferring Google Apps to iPhone

As an Android user, you’ve no doubt grown accustomed to the many Google apps and services that came pre-installed on your phone. The iPhone, unsurprisingly, doesn’t ship with those Google apps and services — you’ll have to seek them out. Luckily, Google’s made more than 60 of them available in the App Store.

Here’s a partial list of Google apps for iPhone:

The complete, regularly updated collection can be found in iTunes, on the App Store, or online, on Apple’s App Store Preview website.


How to Transfer Contacts From Android to iPhone

Transferring contacts from an Android device to an iPhone isn’t as challenging as it used to be. Don’t know where to start? These are some of the simplest ways to migrate your favorites to your new phone.

Transferring Contacts to iPhone with a Google Account

When you set up your Android phone for the first time, you likely signed up for a Google Account. If you did, there’s a pretty good chance that your contacts are synced with that account, and that transferring them to your new iPhone won’t require much more than logging into iOS with said Google Account.

Backing up contacts with a Google Account

To get started, check and see if your contacts are backed up with your Google account.

  1. On your Android phone, swipe twice downward on the notifications shade: Once to expand the list of notifications, and a second time to expose the Quick Settings shortcuts. Tap on the gear icon in the top-right corner. (If you’re running an older version of Android, look for the Settings shortcut in the App Drawer.)

  2. Select Accounts and Sync (which might be called Accounts, depending on your phone).

  3. Select Google from the list of options. If you’ve associated your phone with a Google Account, you’ll see the account’s corresponding Gmail address.

Signing up for a Google account

If you don’t see a Google account, not to worry — you’ll just have to sign in with one or create a new one.

  1. Return to the Accounts sub-menu. From there, scroll down until you see Add account, and tap it. Then tap Google.

  2. If you’ve set up a PIN, password, pattern, fingerprint, or any other form of security on your phone, you’ll be prompted to enter/authenticate it.

  3. Tap Or create a new account to begin setting up a new Google account. Alternatively, if you already have a Google account, enter the Gmail address associated with that account and follow the next few steps.

After you’ve jumped through the necessary hoops, it’s time to make sure your phone is actively syncing your contacts with Google’s servers. Return to the Google sub-menu, tap your Gmail address, and scroll down the Sync menu until you see Contacts. If the toggle next to it is switched on and the text below shows today’s date, you’re ready to proceed.

Signing into a Google account on iOS

Switch to your iPhone. Now, sign into your Google account on iOS.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

  2. Select Accounts & Passwords (Mail, Contacts, Calendars on older versions of iOS).

  3. Tap Add Account and add your Gmail account, taking care to ensure that Contacts are enabled for it.

That’s it! You’ll start to see your contacts populate the address book in iOS’s Phone app.

Transferring Contacts to iPhone with CalDAV

If you run into trouble using iOS’s sync feature, or just want to transfer your Google contacts manually, you can take advantage of Android and iOS’s support for CardDAV. It’s an open vCard-based protocol for syncing contacts built on the HTTP-based WebDAV protocol, and it’s really easy to use.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone

  2. Select Accounts & Passwords (Mail, Contacts, Calendars on older versions of iOS).

  3. Tap Add Account from the menu and select Other.

  4. Tap Add CardDAV Account.

    1. In the Server field, enter “google.com” (without quotes).

    2. In the User Name field, enter the email address associated with your Google account.

    3. In the Password field, enter your Google account password.

    4. In the Description field, enter a description of the account.

  5. Tap Next and ensure that the Contacts option is toggled On. 


How to Transfer Photos and Videos from Android to iPhone

Switching from an Android device to an iPhone doesn’t have to mean leaving your family photo album behind. Google Photos, a free photo storage service from Google, makes transferring pics and videos to iOS as easy as pie. Alternatively, you can use Apple’s iTunes software for PC and Mac, which has an easy-to-use built-in sync tool.

Transferring Photos and Videos to iPhone with Google Photos

Google Photos is available for both Android and iOS. That’s why it’s perfect for copying photos to new phones — including the iPhone.

Google Photos
Google Photos
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

If you’re moving photos from Android to iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Download and install Google Photos from the Play Store. Open it, and sign in with your Google Account.

  2. You’ll be asked to enable Back up & sync, which will upload photos up to 16MP in size to your Photos cloud storage folder over Wi-Fi. Tap Change settings to use your Google Drive storage instead (which will upload pictures in their original quality), or to use cellular data to back up photos.

  3. Tap Done, and you’ll see a grid of photos stored on your phone.

  4. Depending on where you’ve stowed your photos, they might not sync with Google Photos automatically. Swipe in from the left-hand side of your phone’s screen to access the menu and select Device folders.

  5. Tap on any of the folders with crossed-out cloud icons and switch on Back up & sync in each of them individually.

Now that you’ve uploaded your photos to Google Photos, you’re ready to transfer them to your iPhone.

  1. Download and install Google Photos on your iPhone. Open it, and sign in with your Google Account.

  2. Enable Back up & sync if you so choose, and voila — you’ll see your photos.

  3. To store any photo from Google Photos offline, tap it and select the three-dot button in the upper-right corner. Tap Download — it’s now in your iPhone’s Camera Roll.

Transferring Photos and Videos to iPhone with iTunes

transfer from android to iphone

Source: Apple

If you have a computer handy and you’d rather not sign up for Google Photos, iTunes has a built-in syncing function that’ll export your photos and videos in no time. Here’s how:

  1. Download and install iTunes on your PC or Mac.

  2. Plug your Android phone into a spare USB port on your computer. If your phone is running Honeycomb 3.0 or newer, it’ll pop up on PCs running Windows 7 or Windows 10 right away (thanks to native support for Android’s Media Transfer Protocol). But if you’re on a Mac, you’ll need Google’s Android File Transfer utility.

  3. Click through your old phone’s directories until you find your video and photos library (it’s usually in DCIM > Camera). Drag the files you want to a folder on your computer.

  4. Disconnect your Android phone and connect your iPhone to your computer.

  5. Launch iTunes and open the Library menu, then click Photos.

  6. Click the checkmark box next to Sync Photos.

  7. Choose the folder you want to sync from. If you choose a folder with sub-folders, the first level of sub-folders will appear as albums on your iPhone.

  8. Click Apply.

You’re finished! You’ll see your photos and videos appear immediately in your iPhone’s Camera Roll.


How to Transfer Music from Android to iPhone

If you subscribe to a music streaming service such as Google Play Music or Spotify, transferring your music from Android to iPhone is as easy as signing into the service on iOS. Apps like Spotify are platform agnostic: you’ll see the same library of songs and albums no matter which device you’re using.

But if you’ve stubbornly clung to an offline music collection and aren’t giving up on it anytime soon, not to worry. Moving your music to iOS isn’t as challenging as you might think.

Transferring Music to iPhone with iTunes

transfer from android to iphone

Source: Apple

Apple recommends using iTunes to copy music from an Android device to iPhone. Here’s how:

  1. Download and install iTunes on your PC or Mac.

  2. Plug your Android phone into a spare USB port on your computer. If your Android device is running Honeycomb 3.0 or newer, it’ll pop up on PCs running Windows 7 or Windows 10 right away (thanks to native support for Android’s Media Transfer Protocol). But if you’re on a Mac, you’ll need Google’s Android File Transfer utility.

  3. Click through your old phone’s directories until you find your music library. Click and drag the songs you want to transfer to a folder on your computer.

  4. Disconnect your Android phone and connect your iPhone to your computer.

  5. Launch iTunes and open the Library menu, and then click Music.

  6. Open the folder containing your music and drag the files to the Music view in iTunes.

  7. Select your iPhone from within iTunes and click Music. Choose which songs and albums to sync, and click the Sync button.

Transferring Music to iPhone with iTunes Match

If you keep a copy of your music library on your computer, good news: Apple’s iTunes Match, a $25-per-year service, continuously combs through your PC or Mac and uploads songs and albums to iCloud Music Library, a dedicated cloud storage locker. Better yet, it automatically converts low-quality music files to AAC 256Kbps, meaning some of your tunes might end up sounding better than the originals.

A few caveats to note, though: Your iCloud Music Library is limited to 100,000 songs, and songs encoded in AAC or MP3 formats that don’t meet certain quality criteria won’t be matched.

If you’re undeterred, here’s how to get started with iTunes Match:

  1. Launch iTunes on your Mac or PC.

  2. Click Store at the top of the iTunes window. Under Music Quick Links at the right side of the window, click iTunes Match.

  3. Hit the Subscribe button and enter your Apple ID credentials. (If you don’t have an Apple ID, follow these steps to create one.)

  4. Fill out the necessary billing information, and agree to the iTunes Match terms and conditions.

  5. You’re done. Once iTunes Match begins scanning your music library, you’ll see a status indicator that shows its progress. Tracks that successfully upload to iCloud Music Library will have a cloud icon next to them.