How to use Google’s new Switch to Android app to ditch your iPhone

If you’re ready to switch from Apple’s iPhone to an Android phone, the process just got a whole lot easier when it comes to transferring all your data, thanks to Google’s latest iPhone app, Switch to Android.

The app currently only works for those who are ditching their iPhone for one of Google’s Pixel phones, but there’s no apparent reason (other than a benefit to Pixel owners) why the feature may not ultimately make its way to more Android devices.

Below I will tell you how to transfer from iPhone to Android using the new Switch to Android app.

Install Switch to Android before setting up your Pixel phone

Before you start setting up your Pixel phone, you need to install the Switch to Android app on your iPhone. You can find a direct link to the app here or search Google’s “Switch to Android” app store.

It’s a small application, with little configuration, so it will only take a few seconds. While you’re doing this, however, it’s a good idea to connect both your new Android phone and your iPhone to a charger to make sure their respective batteries have enough power to go through the transfer process. The higher a load, the better.

Connect your iPhone to your new Android phone

Next, turn on your Pixel phone and connect it to your Wi-Fi. When you get to the screen asking how you want to copy data from your old phone, tap Next followed by Next again on the screen titled “Use your old device”.

To complete the transfer, you have two options: connect your iPhone directly to your Pixel phone with a USB-C to Lightning cable, or transfer wirelessly. Using a wired connection will be faster, but not everyone has a USB-C to Lightning cable.

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If you need to do a wireless transfer, tap the text No cable? followed by Using an iPhone device? on the next screen. Approve the location access request on your Pixel phone, then sign in to your Google Account when prompted. Once your Google account has been added, your Android phone will display a QR code which you will need to use the Switch to Android app on your iPhone to scan.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Open the Switch to Android app on your iPhone, accept the terms and conditions, then proceed to the next screen, where you’ll see a viewfinder to scan the QR code on your Pixel. Accept the prompts on your iPhone to allow the two devices to connect. Next, you will be asked to grant the Switch to Android app access to your personal information such as photos, contacts, and calendars. You can select OK or Approve for contacts and calendar, but for photos, be sure to allow access to all photos.

Read also: Google Pixel 6 Pro review: yes, still Google’s best smartphone

Once you approve all access requests, your iPhone will prepare for the transfer. But before it starts moving your data, you’ll have one last chance to choose what exactly is doing the moving. On the screen titled “Step 2 of 4”, you can enable or disable any category of information, as well as select the specific photos and videos you wish to transfer. Once you are satisfied, press Continue.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Leave the Switch to Android app open on your iPhone to collect and then transfer your data. On your Android phone, however, you can continue to follow the setup prompts, which include approving permissions, setting a PIN to secure your phone, and more.

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After going through the transfer process, which may take some time depending on the amount of data you are transferring, you will be reminded to turn off iMessage on your iPhone.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

The final, optional step is to ask Apple to transfer your photos and videos to Google Photos. This is something not widely known on Apple’s iCloud account services – you can sign into your Apple ID account and ask Apple to move your photos and videos for you, but it only supports than Google Photos at the moment. Read Google’s support page if you have any questions.

Your iPhone will tell you it’s done, and you’ll see a similar message on your Pixel phone telling you that the transfer is complete. Faucet Do then follow the rest of the prompts on your new Android phone.

After confirming that all your data has been successfully transferred to your Android phone, make sure to reset it properly before giving it to someone else, selling it or trading it. Here’s how you can do it.

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