It’s not as hard as you think

So maybe you asked for and got the new Google Pixel for Christmas and are ready to ditch the iPhone.  Maybe you are just holding on to the iPhone since it is all you have ever known.  If you have been seeing your friend convert from iPhone to Android and think you might want to give it a try.  Whatever the reason for switching Mobile Operating Systems, it’s not as hard as you think it might be.

Let’s look at what you are probably most interested in carrying over.  Your contacts, your photos, your calendar, and your music.  These are usually the most important things people keep on their phone.  What about all your favorite apps?  Well, that’s the rub there.  Most, if not all the apps you use on an iPhone are available in the Google Play Store.  You will have to rebuy any paid apps you have, sorry.

First things first

You need to set up a Google Account.  You won’t be able to do anything with an Android phone without one.  This is similar to setting up your iCloud account that you had with Apple.  So go ahead and set one up, don’t worry, I’ll wait….  Ok, done right? If you already have a Google account (think Gmail address) then we can proceed.

There is a lot of stuff you can do via your computer to get things ready to go before you even turn your new Android phone on.

Export your contacts

This could not be easier:

  1. Download and launch iTunes.
  2. Connect your iPhone to the computer.
  3. Open the handset’s device summary page.
  4. Click the Info tab.
  5. Check “Sync Contacts With” and then select “Google Contacts”.
  6. Type your Google account’s username and password.
  7. Click Apply.

Really, that’s it.  This should create all your contacts on your shiny new Google account.  Now again, if you already had a Gmail account this might cause some duplication of contacts, you might want to give your Google Contacts a run through to see if you catch contacts that are out of date or not ones you want anymore.  Switching phones is a great time to do a little housekeeping on your files anyways.

Transfer your Photos

I know that your iPhone is now your primary camera.  People don’t generally carry around a separate digital camera anymore.  I don’t blame them.  That has been the convergence of the all in one device that does everything you need.  So how do you get your pictures from your old iPhone to the new Android phone?  Again, easier than you think.

Your new Google account automatically comes with a Google Photo Account (also if you are an Amazon Prime member you can back up unlimited Photos to Amazon Photos also).  Google Photos is a cloud storage solution for backing up your pictures.  You can set up Google Photos on your new Android phone to automatically back up your pictures to the cloud.  This way there is never the chance to miss saving one of your great selfies!

All you have to do is connect your iPhone to your computer and use the File Explorer (PC) to open your phone’s folders.  From there you should be able to navigate to the user/media/DCIM folder.  When in doubt as to where pictures are located on any camera device, it is usually the DCIM folder.

Once there you can copy all the pictures to the desktop or some other location on your computer.  Just remember where you put them.

Now you can go to Google Drive and create a folder in the Google Photos directory to store your iPhone Photos.  Once you create the folder, you can drag and drop the files from your computer to the cloud drive.  This might take awhile to finish, depending on how many pictures you have and the speed of your internet connection.  At this point, you should just let your computer do it’s thing and take a coffee break.

Transferring your Calendar

If you use iCalendar for keeping track of all your appointments, then I am sure you would like to have the same stuff on your new Android.  This is also really easy.

  1. Open settings on your iPad or iPhone.
  2. Click on the Mail, Contacts, Calendars button on the left-hand side.
  3. You will see an accounts section that has iCloud, Exchange etc. …
  4. Select the Gmail option.
  5. Enter in your details.

That’s it.  They make it really simple.

Transferring your iTunes Music

Once you have finished transferring your Photos and your computer is freed up to do another transfer, you can move your music.  The iTunes music is kept in a folder on your computer that you have iTunes installed on.  It is in your Music folder.  The easiest thing to do is transfer the whole folder to your Google Drive.  Now if you have a huge collection you might need to upgrade your storage on Google Drive.  For most of us, though, this shouldn’t be a problem.

You can also copy this folder straight to your new phone, but again, why use up the storage on the phone when you can be connected to your cloud storage via the Google Play Music app.  You do have the choice to download some of the albums or songs so you can access them when off line or without using your data plan.  I recommend doing this for the music and playlists you use most often when out on the road.

Other things to consider

Switching from iPhone to Android has a few learning curves, depending on the brand of Android phone you get, the Android interface itself will look a little different.  Each manufacturer is allowed to tweak Android to their own version of the OS.  This means if you have an LG phone and your friend has a Samsung, things will look a little different, but overall they work the same.

You also have to get used to having a back button.  Spend a little time with your new phone, explore the menus and the features before you start diving into the apps.  You really can’t break anything in there.  If you change something and you don’t like the change, it’s easy to just reverse the steps.  You can also Google your problem or even email me and find the answer.

Some great resources for all things Android are Android Central and Android Authority they have great links and how to articles on setting up your phone and getting the best apps running on it.

Bottom Line

Let me be the first to say welcome to the Android universe, you will find things are a little more laid back here.  Android allows for much more customization than Apple does.  Good thing or bad thing, hard to say, it depends on how comfortable you are with a little bit of change.  I do know that once you switch to the Android and really start using it as your daily driver.  You will wonder why you ever even bothered with the iPhone in the first place.