How to use Google’s new Switch to Android app to drop your iPhone | ZDNet


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / ZDNet

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

Right now, the app only works for those who drop their iPhone to one of Google’s Pixel phones, but there’s no obvious reason (other than an advantage for Pixel owners) that the feature may not eventually find its way to more Android devices.

Below I will guide you through the 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 the App Store for “Switch to Android” from Google.

It’s a small app, with a little setup, so it only takes a few seconds. While doing so, however, it is a good idea to connect both your new Android phone and your iPhone to a charger to ensure that their respective batteries have enough power to get through the transfer process. The more a charge, the better.

Connect your iPhone to your new Android phone

Then turn on your Pixel phone and connect it to your Wi-Fi. When you get to the screen and ask how to copy the data from your old phone, tap Next followed by Next again on the screen labeled “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. It will be faster to use a wired connection, but not everyone has a USB-C to Lightning cable.

If you need to transfer wirelessly, tap the text No cable? followed by Are you 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 is added, your Android phone will display a QR code that you will need to use to switch to the 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 go to the next screen where you will see a viewfinder scan the QR code on your Pixel. Accept the messages on your iPhone to allow the two devices to connect. Next, you will be asked to give the Switch to the 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 grant access to all photos.

Once you have approved all access requests, your iPhone prepares itself for the transfer. But before it starts moving your data, you have one last chance to choose what exactly to move. On the screen marked “Step 2 of 4” you can turn any info category on or off, as well as select the specific photos and videos you want to upload. When you are happy, press Continue.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / ZDNet

Leave the Switch to Android app open on your iPhone, it will work 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 so on.

Once you have gone through the transfer process, which may take a while depending on how much data you are moving over, 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 upload your photos and videos to Google Photos. This is something that is not commonly known about Apple’s iCloud account services – you can sign in to your Apple ID account and ask Apple to move your photos and videos to you, but it only supports Google Photos right now. Read the Google Support page if you have any questions.

Your iPhone tells you it’s done and you’ll see a similar message on your Pixel phone showing you that the download is complete. Press done and then follow the rest of the instructions on your new Android phone.

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