How to use Google's Switch to Android app to move data from iPhone - MrLiambi's blog


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Friday, 1 July 2022

How to use Google's Switch to Android app to move data from iPhone

If you've wanted to switch from iPhone to Android, but you really don't want to lose your messages, contacts and data, we get it. And so does Google. 

Recently, just like Apple's app that lets you move stuff from Android to iPhone, Google launched its 'Switch to Android' app on the App Store. And - thanks to a recent Play Store update - you can now actually use it. 

It lets you transfer data wirelessly and we're going to show you how to use it; you can follow the video below or read on for the written guide.

We will say this, however: the wireless method isn't as good as the usual wired method. It only allows contacts, calendar events, photos and video at the moment. The wired method will let you take apps, messages and lots more data as well, so we've included the guide for the wired method underneath. 

First step - download the app

Your first step for the new wireless method is obvious. You need to download the 'Switch to Android' app on to your iPhone. At this moment in time, it doesn't actually show up in search when you head to the App Store and look for it. However, you can get it right here. 

Open that app and allow it any permissions it requires to work and then tap the 'accept the terms of service' and hit 'Start'. Now you'll see a screen with a camera viewfinder for scanning a QR code. Leave your iPhone there for now. 

Second step - the new Phone

This service is designed for people who want to switch to a brand new phone. There's no app to install on the Android phone, instead, it's part of the initial set up process. What's more, your new phone has to be running Android 12 or later, as well as the latest version of Google's Play Services. You'll soon find out if you can do it, or not, as you start your new phone's set up process. 

  • Power up the new Android phone
  • Start the set up process - connect to Wi-Fi (this is important)
  • On the 'Copy apps and data' screen, tap 'next'
  • On the 'Use your old device' screen, tap 'next' again
  • On the 'Find your old device's cable' screen, tap 'no cable'
  • Tap 'Copy another way' on the pop-up window
  • Select 'Switching from iPhone or iPad' on the next screen

If you don't see any of this in your new phone's set up process, you won't be able to use the 'Switch to Android' app, so you should follow the older method of using Google Drive. The setup will guide you through this process. 

If you see the option for transferring with a cable, but no option for wireless transfer, you have a couple of options. You can either scroll down to our guide to the wired transfer below (which is much better anyway), or skip through the rest of the set up process on the phone and check for software and system updates on the phone for the latest Play Services update. 

Once that's done, you'd need to factory reset the phone and start this process again from the beginning. We'd recommend not wasting your time doing this, and just go for the wired transfer instead. 

Third step - wireless transfer

Assuming you've now got to the wireless transfer page on your Android phone's setup, you can now begin copying your data across. 

  • Click 'Allow' on the 'Location needed to copy wirelessly' screen
  • Hit 'Next' on the Google account sign-in screen
  • Sign in to your Google account
  • On the next screen you should see a QR code
  • Scan the QR code on your iPhone using the Switch to Android app
  • Tap 'Join' to connect wirelessly to the Android phone's Wi-Fi

If this step fails at first, just keep trying. We took a couple of tries to connect to begin with. 

You'll get a pop-up saying it needs permission to connect to devices on your local network, tap 'Ok'. Then the app needs access to your data, so hit 'Continue', and then allow it access to your contacts, calendars and photos. Then it'll show a spinning logo and say it's getting ready to copy. 

The next stage is selecting which files and data you want to transfer across. And this is where you see the wireless service's limitations. It only offers the ability to transfer contacts, calendar events, photos and video. If you go the cabled route and connect them with a cable, you get much more, including old apps. 

If these four are the only data you need, hit continue and wait for the transfer to complete. While it's doing that you can continue to set up the Android phone as it pulls the data through in the background. Then you'll get to the 'Copying your data screen'. And that's it. Just wait until the data is transferred. 

The better, wired transfer method

For this method, you don't need to have the 'Switch to Android' app at all. You just need your iPhone, a Lightning to USB-C cable, and the Android phone you want to transfer data to. We will say this as a tip to begin with: make sure both phones are fully charged, otherwise your iPhone might start sucking battery juice from the new Android phone. And it could take a while. 

Like the wireless version, you go through the new phone's set up process until you get to the screen that asks if you want to copy data from your old phone.

  • When you see the screen that says 'Use your old device' hit 'next'
  • Grab the Lightning to USB-C cable, hit 'next'
  • Keep hitting next, and following the instructions
  • Plug the Lightning end into your iPhone when instructed to
  • Plug the USB-C end into the new Android phone when instructed to

On your iPhone you'll get a pop-up asking you to trust the new device. Click the trust option, and then enter your PIN or passkey. From this point on it's pretty straight forward. Keeping both phones connected, go through the rest of the set up process on the Android phone.

  • Sign in to your Google account
  • Continue through the steps until you see the screen that says it's getting ready to copy (this can take a while)
  • Select everything you want to copy, then hit 'continue' 
  • Start the copying process, and wait

This is pretty much it. It will take some time if you have a lot of data to transfer over, but it should copy it all across for you.  

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