Change is good. It’s, as the cliché goes, the only constant. But change is also hard. And the hardest kind of change, outside of my transformation from obnoxiously dressed teen to a just plain obnoxious man-child, is changing the kind of smartphone you use.
It’s almost as if Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG, GOOGL) don’t want you to leave their respective device ecosystems. And many consumers just stick with their current operating system, because they either don’t know how to change or are worried they’ll lose out on features.
But there is a way to jump between these two types of smartphones.
Moving from Android to iPhone
So you’ve been using a Samsung smartphone for the past three years and want to check out Apple’s latest iPhone. Well, buckle up, because you’re in for a … relatively painless process.
First, you’ll have to download Apple’s Move to iOS app through the Google Play Store. The app, which you’ll want to make sure is made by Apple, will copy your messages, photos and contacts from your Android device to your new iPhone.
To get started, turn on your new iPhone and run through the setup process for the iPhone until you get to the Apps & Data screen.
From there, select, “Move Data from Android.” Your iPhone will then prompt you to download the Move to iOS app, which you’ve already done. Tap “Continue,” and you should receive a series of numbers.
Now, open the Move to iOS app on your Android phone. You’ll see a screen that says Find your Code. Tap “Next” in the top right corner of the screen.
You’ll now be asked to enter either the six-digit or 10-digit series of numbers displayed on your iPhone. Your Android phone will then automatically connect to your new iPhone.
From there you’ll have to choose if you want to carry over your Google Account, Messages, Contacts, Calendar and Camera Roll. Tap “Next” and you’re all set.
It’s important to note that I couldn’t get my Google Pixel XL to connect to the iPhone, but Samsung’s Galaxy S8 connected without issue. I can only assume the issue has to do with the Pixel running a newer version of Android than the S8.
Moving from iPhone to Android – Part I
If you’re more inclined to switch from your iPhone to Google’s Android, your change is going to involve a few different steps.
First, you’ll have to download the Google Drive app on your iPhone. Next go to the app’s options page and select “Settings”.
Tap “Backup” and then “Start Backup.” Your contacts, calendar and photos and videos will then be uploaded to your Google Drive account.
Next, take your fancy new Android device, and run through the setup process until you get to the page asking if you’d like to “Copy your data” or “Start up as new.” Select “Start up as new.”
You’ll then have to enter your Gmail address and password to log into your Google account. After that, you can continue the setup and your phone will automatically pull the information you backed up from the cloud down to your phone.
You won’t, however, be able to carry over your apps. Instead, you’ll only get your photos, contacts and calendar information.
Moving from iPhone to Android – Part II
If you want to get nearly everything off of your old phone, you’ll need to select “Copy your data” back on the original Welcome setup screen. You’ll also need to have the appropriate cables and adapters available.
For instance, if you’re copying your data from an iPhone to a Pixel, you’ll need your iPhone’s Lightning cable and a USB to USB C adapter to plug the cable into connect the phones.
Your Android phone will then tell you to check your iPhone and tap “Trust” in the dialogue box asking if you should trust the device you’ve just connected.
After that, you’ll need to enter your Gmail address and password. Your Android device will then connect to your iPhone and find Android apps that match all of the iPhone apps you’ve downloaded.
Not everything will carry over, though. Photos stored in iCloud, for example, won’t transfer, but photos stored on your iPhone will.
Tap “Copy” let the Android phone copy your data, finish up the setup and you’re done.
More from Dan:
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Email Daniel at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley.