How to move from iPhone to Android. Things to consider before moving from an iPhone to an Android phone. How to transfer contacts, calender, photos, video and music from iOS to Android. See all Android tips.
Since it launched in 2007 the iPhone has been a hugely popular smartphone platform. In the past Android and BlackBerry were cheaper alternatives, but if you had the cash you went for an iPhone. Not any more.
Android's app store Google Play now has more apps than the iTunes App Store, and its Music, Books, Movies & TV and Magazines apps rival their Apple equivalents. And you can choose from multiple music stores if you use an Android phone. See also: Best Android apps and Best iPhone apps.
Now high end Windows and Android phones are true rivals to the iPhone, and top Android phones such as those found in our best Android phones are better *and cheaper* than the Apple iPhone 6. No wonder many people consider switching.
Here's our guide to moving from iPhone to Android. We outline things to consider before you move, then show you how to transfer Contacts, Calender, Photos, Video, Music and eBooks from iPhone to Android. (See alsoL 49 best phones for 2015: Best smartphones you can buy in the UK.)
How to move from iPhone to Android: first things to consider
The top Android phones match the iPhone's build, features and performance, but not all Androids are equal. There are myriad Android operating systems, and iPhone users need a recent version of Android in order to replicate the iPhone experience on their new handset. Remember that unlike the iPhone, there's no guarantee your phone maker will upgrade Android when a new OS comes out.
The good news is that on any Android handset email, Twitter and Facebook work much as they do on an iPhone - moving email and social accounts is not a consideration here. There are multiple free apps from
Do consider accessories, speakers, adaptors and cases you have amassed for your iPhone, however. You will of course get a charging cable with your new Android, but don't assume that any speaker docs will work without an adaptor. The good news here is that all Androids (and WIndows Phones, and BlackBerries) use USB to connect, charge and share, so you will find plenty of accessories for your new Android phone.
Apps are also a factor. Your favourite iOS apps should be on Google Play, but check before you commit to Android. Factor in the cost of replacing your apps: app makers charge separately for each platform on which you install their wares. Not all Android phones can install all Android apps, either, so check your favourites are available on your chosen handset. If you are fishing in the top end of the Android pool it is likely all the apps will be present and capable. Indeed, there may be more choice than on iOS.
Bear in mind that some features native to iOS require you to install third-party apps on Android. The open nature of Android means have options when hunting down features, which can be a good and bad thing.
There's no native Android equivalent of Find My iPhone, for instance, but you will need security software anyway. Not for the antivirus - the threat comes from rogue apps you install from outside of Google Play. But the best Android security apps let you track, wipe and brick your handset in the event of theft. They are usually free, either as standalone products or as part of your PC security software. (See also: How to remove a virus from Android phone or tablet.)
Android has no equivalent of the iPhone's Facetime video-calling, although you can use Google Hangouts to video call other Android users (and iPhone users). You can also install Skype and video call anyone for free. There's no Android iMessage, but the rest of the world is already using Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger for free mobile messaging.
There's no iCloud, but plenty of cloud storage providers are available. (You will lose what you have spent on iCloud for the forthcoming year and should go into your iPhone's Settings, then iCloud, Account, Storage plan and Downgrade options to ensure you don't pay again next year.) Google's own storage system is Google Drive - again, arguably superior to iCloud. And accessible on all of your devices.
One last cost to consider: music and videos you have purchased from iTunes. Almost all iTunes music files are DRM free, and Android handsets will store and play them. But TV shows and movies you have purchased from Apple are a very different story. There is no legitimate way of viewing iTunes video on an Android phone - the same is true of Newsstand magazines and iBooks. If you have a large library of both, this could be a deal breaker. We explain how to transfer music, movies and books below.
How to move from iPhone to Android: move contacts from iPhone to Android
Arguable the most important part of moving from iPhone to Android is transferring contacts. Having a Google Account makes this straightforward - you need a Google Account to use an Android smartphone or laptop so sign up as soon as possible. It's free. (If you have a Gmail account, you already have a Google Account.)
Plug in your iPhone to your PC and laptop. Open up iTunes. Your iPhone should appear on the top righthand corner - click it and select the Info tab from the iPhone Summary screen. If you are currently syncing your contacts over iCloud, at this point you should go into the settings on the iPhone itself, select 'iCloud', and move the Contacts slider from On to Off. Then head back to iTunes and tick 'Sync contact', selecting Google from the Drop Down list. Then sign into your Google account and your contacts are uploaded to Google.
When you first set up your Android phone signing into Google will give you the same contacts as you had on your iPhone. That's it.
We've read some reports that suggest this system no longer works, so here is a second option. It's painful to do for lots of contacts, but works perfectly well. Open up the contacts on your iPhone, and choose the contact you wish to save. Swipe down and select the tab, which allows you to either share it via email. If you email yourself, you can then download the contact on your new Android when you have signed into email on that device. Clearly this is not ideal if you want to transfer hundreds of contacts, but it is worth doing for your key contacts.
If all else fails, there are apps that will do this for you. The My Contacts Backup app is one. You install it first on your iPhone, and it will prompt you to backup your contacts. Then when you install the app on your Android, and log in, it will let you install all of those contacts on to your Android. (See also: Cheapest 4G smartphones of 2015: The 14 best budget 4G phones.)
How to move from iPhone to Android: Move calender from iPhone to Android
Moving the calendar is also easy. How easy depends on how synced your existing iPhone calendar is. If you sync to your iPhone a Google Calendar, you're in clover. The same is true if you use a calendar from another webmail provider such as Hotmail - sync that account to your new phone and away you go.
It gets more tricky if you created your calendar on an iPhone and it is stored locally or in iCloud.
If it is stored locally, grab your iPhone. Go to Settings, then Mail, Contacts, Calendars. If you have an existing Google account with which you are going to sync your Android phone it may be listed there already, if not hit Add Account and add it in. Once you can see the relevant Google account, tap to go into it and ensure the 'Calendars' slider is moved across to 'On'. When you sign into Google on your Android phone your calendar will sync.
If your calendar is created on your iPhone and stored in iCloud you may need to purchase an Android app to help with the transition. SmoothSync for Cloud Calendar costs a couple of quid and will sync your calendar from iCloud.
How to move from iPhone to Android: Move music from iPhone to Android
Simply make sure the music on your iPhone is backed up to your PC or laptop. Your Android device will be able to play them. One of the great things about Android is that your phone appears on your PC like a storage device or memory stick. Drag and drop music files on to it and Android will do the rest. This is the same for ripped CDs and music purchased from myriad stores, and you can purchase music on your Android device from whichever download or streaming store you choose - not just iTunes.
You can also sign up for and use Google Music to transfer your files.
If for some reason you don't have your music on a PC or laptop (or Mac), you will have to do that first. On an old iPod of ours we used TrustCopy from WideAngle Software to do this, but it cost around £25. Once your music is on your computer, you can simply attach your Android via USB and drag-and-drop the music files.
How to move from iPhone to Android: Move photos and videos from iPhone to Android
It's a similar story to that of moving music files, but with one significant difference. Back up your video and photo files from your iPhone to your PC and you can drag and drop them to your Android phone. Photos will be viewed in much the same way as on your iPhone. Videos you have ripped from DVDs or captured yourself will also play, although you may have to install a third-party media player app.
But videos purchased from iTunes are unlikely to play nicely due to digital rights issues.
Android is host to multiple video services, including Google Play Movies & TV, Netflix and BBC iPlayer. But Google's own media store is nowhere near as well packed as is iTunes in the UK at this stage. Check that your particular handset can install all these apps if you need them.
How to move from iPhone to Android: Move eBooks and magazines from iPhone to Android
eBooks in all formats for which there is no DRM will transfer across easily. Simply back them up to your PC, attach the Android phone and drag and drop them across.
Most of us read digital books and magazines on our phones and tablets via apps such as Kindle, iBooks, Zinio and Newsstand, however. The availability on Android of your preferred service dictates whether or not you will be able to move across books and magazines.
On Android the Kindle works perfectly. Install the app, sign in and your books are there to read. On recent Android OSes you can also install Google Play Books - this is similar to Kindle, so you can check both for the best price. Any books you purchased through iBooks are gone, though. You need an iPhone or iPad to read them.
It's the same story with magazines - you can read PC Advisor on Zinio and Magster as before, but issues of PCA you bought on Newsstand aren't available on your Android phone. Instead you can subscribe to our magazine via Google Play Magazines.
If you have an existing subscription check with the individual publisher to find out what your rights are. Because Google, Apple, Zinio and the others all have fingers in this particular pie we suspect you are unlikely to be able to port a subscription from one device to the other. The best-case scenario is a refund. (See also: Best budget smartphones of 2015: 23 best cheap phones you can buy in UK.)