Thinking of switching from iPhone to Android? There are many reasons to do it; Between Google’s camera magic with the Pixel 7 Pro and Samsung offering an impressive overall package with the Galaxy S22 Ultra, there’s never been a better time to switch to Android.
The best part is that Google makes it very easy to move your contacts, messages, emails, photos, documents and other data to Android without any hassle. Google’s suite of services covers everything you need, with Google Calendar, Chrome, Drive, Gmail, Messages, and Photos offering a robust set of features with a polished user interface.
I switch between Android phones on a weekly basis and use an iPhone 14 Pro as my secondary phone, so I know what I’m talking about when it comes to transferring data between platforms. So if you’re thinking of switching or already bought an Android phone, here’s how to seamlessly migrate your data from your iPhone to Android.
Preparing things to switch to Android
There are several ways to transfer your contacts, photos, videos, messages and documents from your iPhone to Android, and in this post I am going to highlight the option that has worked best for me. Starting with Android 12, Google made it easy to migrate data from iOS when setting up a new Android phone, and that’s the method I’ll use.
I’m transferring all content stored on an iPhone 14 Pro to a Google Pixel 7 for this guide and regardless of which iPhone you’re using, the flow will be identical. To get started, you’ll need to turn on your Android phone and have your iPhone handy, as we’ll need to connect both phones via a cable to transfer content. You can also do it wirelessly, but you won’t be able to transfer messages, including WhatsApp message history, music stored locally on your device, and apps.
By using a cable, you will be able to automatically install all the apps on your iPhone through the Play Store on your new Android phone, saving yourself the hassle of doing it manually. This only works for the free apps and you will need to re-purchase the paid apps from the Play Store. As for the cable in question, you’ll need to purchase a Lightning to USB-C cable (opens in a new tab) to connect both phones. Newer iPhones already come with this cable in the box, but if you’re using an older iPhone, you should get it. Anker Lightning to USB-C Cable.
Also, while this method is great for migrating data that’s already on your iPhone, it doesn’t take iCloud into account. If you have a lot of photos and videos stored in iCloud, here’s how to transfer them to Google Photos.
How to Migrate Data from iPhone to Android
Do you have the cable and both phones ready? Here’s how to get started with data transfer on your Android phone:
1. Turn on the Pixel and select Get Started .
2. Insert the SIM card from your iPhone to the Pixel. If you are using eSIM, select Download a SIM instead to migrate the number.
3. Connect to your home wifi network .
4. You should now come to the Copy apps and data section. Paste Next To get started.
5. Select Next on the Use your old device page.
6. Hit next the Find the cable from your old device page.
7. You will now need to connect both devices via a cable. Unlock your iPhone and connect the cable. Once you’ve done that, tap Next on the Insert the cable into your old device page.
8. Connect the other end of the cable to your pixel.
9. If you do, a dialog will appear on the iPhone asking if you trust the device. Select Trust to continue and enter your iPhone passcode. If this dialog does not appear, remove the cable and try connecting again.
10. You should see a message on your Pixel that both devices are connected . Paste next continue.
11. You will now be asked to sign in to your Google account. If you don’t already have one, use the Create Account button at the bottom of the page. Once you are logged in, press Next.
12. On the next page, you will be asked if the device is being set up for you or a member of your household. Paste Next once you have made your selection.
13. You can link your phone number with your Google account. If you are interested, press yes, I am in . Otherwise, go to the next page.
14. Hit I agree to the Google Terms of Service to continue.
15. You will now arrive at the data transfer page . Depending on the amount of data stored on your iPhone, it may take a while to display all the options.
16. In the Choose what to copy section, you’ll get a list of apps, contacts, photos, videos, messages, calendar entries, notes, and device settings that are eligible for migration. You can see how much data will be needed on your Android device and the estimated transfer time. Paste Copy To get started.
17. If you have a lot of data on WhatsApp , you will be able to move that to Android on this page. If not, select don’t transfer .
18. After selecting the data, you can continue to set up your Pixel. Select whether you want to allow Google services to use location and search for nearby devices on this page and press Next to continue.
19. Google has an iCloud-like service called Google One that backs up photos and videos. If you want to back up the photos and videos you take with your Pixel to Google One, select On . Each user gets 15GB as standard, and 200GB, 1TB, and 10TB plans are also available.
20. You will be able to set a PIN and add biometric authentication on the next page. Touch the on-screen fingerprint reader to set up fingerprint unlock.
21. You can also add Face Unlock, but unlike the iPhone, it’s not as secure.
22. You can continue configuring the Pixel by pressing Continue.
23. If you want to use the Google Assistant — it does a better job than Siri — select I agree .
24. You will need to set up the Google Assistant and give it access to run on the lock screen. Paste I agree if you want the feature.
25. Google has some extra Services that are exclusive to pixels. You can set them right now or later in the settings.
26. If you’re just getting started with Android, you can agree to receive guides on how to use your Pixel.
27. The data will now be transferred to your Pixel, and you will see a progress bar showing how many minutes it will take.
28. Once finished, you will see a message notifying you to remove the cable connecting both devices. Paste Done continue.
29. The next page provides instructions on how to disable iMessage on your iPhone. I’ll have screenshots of this in the section below, so hit Done .
30. Everything is ready! The data has been transferred to your Android device and you are ready to go.
This is the easiest way to migrate data from your iPhone to Android as it ensures that all your contacts, messages, calendar entries, documents, photos and videos are transferred in one go without any hassle. Otherwise, you’d have to manually add everything to Google Drive and then make the change; fortunately, that is not the case now.
Remember to turn off iMessage
A key point to remember when switching to Android is to turn off iMessage. If you don’t do this, you won’t receive messages from other iPhone users. Here’s how to do it on your iPhone:
1. Go to Settings .
2. Navigate to Messages .
3. Disable the toggle for iMessage to turn the feature off.
How to migrate data from iCloud to Google Photos
Do you have a lot of photos and videos in iCloud? You can easily transfer the data to Google Photos, and Google allows you to import albums in bulk. Note that this method works for albums you’ve created; any shared albums you’re a part of won’t count. Smart albums and Photo Stream content don’t migrate either.
There are two ways to transfer photos and videos stored in iCloud to Google Photos. You can import albums from your iPhone directly to Google Photos or request a transfer of your data. If you’re switching platforms and have a lot of data, the second method is the way to go. This is what you will have to do:
1. Go to privacy.apple.com (Opens in a new tab) and sign in with your Apple ID .
2. Choose Transfer a copy of your data .
3. A page will appear asking where you want to transfer the data. Choose Google Photos . Select whether you want to transfer photos and videos or just photos.
4. Sign in with your Google account.
5. Select Continue to start the data transfer.
6. You will be able to see the size of the photos and videos that are transferred to Google Photos.
The migration will take a few days depending on the amount of data stored in iCloud, and you’ll need to make sure you have enough Google Photos storage. Google provides 15 GB of data for free with your account, and if you need more, you’ll need to purchase a Google One plan.
The transfer migrates albums in their entirety, but note that if you have more than 20,000 photos in an album, the additional images are not added to the album; that’s a limitation of Google Photos. The videos are also transferred, but they will not be in your albums. You’ll receive an email once the transfer is complete, and you can view the status of your request by going to privacy.apple.com/account – opens in a new tab.
What about the music?
If you use Apple Music on your iPhone, you can continue to use the same service on Android as well. Apple Music works particularly well on Android, and you’ll be able to continue using the service the same way you did on your iPhone. You can also use AirPods with your Android phone, and if you’re interested in what else is out there, you should check out our best guide to wireless headphones.
There’s a lot to like about Android
With a vibrant device ecosystem and extensive customization capabilities, Android brings a lot to the table. There’s not that much of a learning curve, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by some of the things Android does better than iOS: notification management, file system access, easy (and secure) sharing of documents and photos, and so much more.
If this is your first time using an Android phone, you may want to search for Google Guides which provide a good walkthrough of all the available features.
I’ve used every Android phone released this year and I think the Pixel 7 Pro is the best of all. With amazing cameras, clean software without the clutter, fast updates, and a gorgeous design, Google nailed every facet of the phone.