Google is quietly launching its much-anticipated ‘Switch to Android’ app on iOS – TechCrunch

Last year, reports began circulating that Google was developing a “Switch to Android” app for iOS users who want to take the leap from iPhone to a smartphone running Google’s Android OS. Now that app has arrived. On Monday, Google quietly launched the Switch to Android app in the App Store in a number of global markets, including the United States. As expected, the app promises to make the transition between mobile platforms easier to manage by helping users import their contacts, calendar, photos and videos to their new Android phone.

The app also instructs users on how to turn off Apple iMessage to get text messages on their new device and get them to connect to iCloud to migrate their photo and video library to Android.

Image credit: Google

Google’s Switch to Android site has not yet been updated to indicate that the new app is available, and the company has not officially announced the launch. The app also does not appear on Google’s developer page in the App Store or in the App Store’s search results. It can only be found when you click on the direct link.

Currently, the Switch to Android site guides users through the standard process of moving to Android, which involves users backing up their contacts, calendar, photos, and videos through the Google Drive iOS app before switching devices.

The company’s plan to develop a standalone app for iPhone-to-Android switches was first revealed last year when the site 9to5Google dug into the code of Android’s official Data Restore Tool and discovered a reference to a Google-developed Switch to Android app for iOS . Since last month, it noted that the app appeared to have been given the ability to automatically migrate a user’s photos and videos from iCloud to Google Photos, also based on mentions in another Android apps code.

There have been other hints that Google has been working to make it easier for users to move their media content to its own platform and services through backend developments. Google recently announced an update to the Google Photos app that offered mobile device owners to copy photos from rival cloud storage services, including iCloud, Facebook and others. Before, downloads had to come from Facebook or iCloud, not from the Google app itself.

Unfortunately, one thing is that Google’s new Switch to Android iOS app does not help migrate a user’s applications. This is likely due to restrictions on which third-party apps can access the user’s device. Apps are not meant to scan the user’s iPhone to extract a list of all the other apps that a user has installed, i.e.

In its App Store description, the new app promotes its ability to handle the movement of users’ content between devices without the use of “flashy cables”, which means that the two phones do not have to be physically connected to each other to complete the process, which an added perk.

Google’s app comes many years after Apple’s app that helped switch Android users to the iPhone. Back in September 2015, Apple launched its Move to iOS app for Android users, which was especially its first app on Google Play (besides those from the Beats acquisition.). Similarly, its app helped migrate users’ data, including their camera roll, messages, Google Account, contacts, and bookmarks.

The app is publicly available from the URL here:

Google did not comment prior to the announcement, but later reached out to warn us that the app is not currently available for download in the iOS App Store – as we had already noted in our original story above.

Updated 4/13/22, 3:50 PM ET with Google comment.