How to switch from iPhone to Android

Are you switching from an iPhone to an Android phone but don’t know where to start? Switching from one operating system to a totally different one can be confusing, not to mention the tedious process of setting up a new phone and transferring your files across — and that’s all before you even adapt to using a device that operates differently than what you’re used to. But it doesn’t have to be so daunting. In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of switching from iPhone’s iOS operating system to Android, and how to transfer your data to your new device.

What is Android?

Android is the name of the most widely-adopted operating system found on smartphones and is owned by Google. It is an open-source operating system, meaning that phone manufacturers such as Samsung, OPPO and LG often build on Android and include modifications to suit their devices. The open-source nature of Android also makes it widely customisable for the user, even more so than what Apple’s iOS offers.

iPhone vs Android: Should I switch from iOS to Android?

Ultimately, it all comes down to preference and what you want in a phone. There is much more choice when it comes to Android phones, along with more customisation options for the user in the operating system. If you’re used to the feel of an iPhone, it might be worth sticking with Apple’s series of devices, but Android will typically give you more control of your phone.

Do I need a new phone plan for my new Android phone?

While there’s no need to change your phone plan when you get a new Android device, it might be the right time to assess whether your current plan is still working for you. If you compare phone plans from a range of providers — whether it’s a prepaid plan or postpaid plan — you might find a better-value SIM-only phone plan than the one you’re currently on. Keep in mind that if your new phone is a 5G phone, you might want to look at 5G phone plans so you get the most out of your device’s features.

Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use Canstar Blue’s phone plan comparison tool to see a wide range of plans on offer from mobile providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Considerations when switching from iPhone to Android

Switching from an iPhone to an Android phone is fairly simple, although there are a few key points that you should keep in mind before changing over to an Android device:

  • Contacts, photos and calendar events can be easily transferred from an iPhone to Android using the Google Drive app
  • You’ll need to repurchase apps on the Google Play store, or other app stores, to use them on your new Android phone
  • Android devices need different charging cables to iPhones, so make sure you pick up a new cable

If you can wrap your head around these three points, you should be well on your way to being an Android user. Below we’ll go into more detail on changing from iOS to Android. Keep in mind that if you’re changing over to a Huawei device, you won’t be able to install any Google apps, including Google Drive or the Google Play Store, as these apps are not available on Huawei devices.

Tips on transferring data from an iPhone to an Android

Transferring your data from an iPhone to an Android device is possible — and painless! All you need to do is install the Google Drive app (Google account required), and follow the Backup instructions. Backup information requires an internet connection and can be found by going Menu > Settings > Backup.

This backup allows you to copy photos, calendar events and contacts over to your new Android device. Just let the backup complete on your old phone, and then sign in to your Google account on your Android device. You’ll then get the option to install the backup information on your new phone. You might want to use this opportunity to clean up your photos, and delete any unwanted pictures from your camera roll!

Before you make the switch, you will need to disable iMessage on your iPhone, as you won’t be able to receive iMessages on an Android phone. You can turn iMessage off by going Settings > Messages and switching the iMessage selection to the off position.

If you don’t want to use Google Drive, you can transfer your contacts over using a manual export, provided you have iCloud synced with your iPhone. Simply log into iCloud.com and click the gear icon in the bottom left. Choose ‘Select All’, then click again and choose Export vCard. This will download a file which you can then import into Google contacts (a Web App offered by Google).

You can also transfer your photos manually — simply connect your iPhone to your computer and transfer all the photos you’d like to keep over into a folder on your computer.

Additionally, your new phone might have special features allowing for an easy transfer of data, although these features are typically different between Android brands.

Setting up your Android device for use

Once you’re done transferring your contacts and photos over, your next step is to set up your phone in the way you want to use it. Some Android phones can offer features that might be hard to get used to, especially if you’re coming from an iPhone. However, most Android phones feel pretty easy to use, and there are some things you just need to get used to — luckily, we have some tips on making things easier!

Enable gestures

If you’re getting a new Android device, there’s a good chance it will have a widescreen without any buttons on the screen. With this in mind, most Android devices give you the option between the traditional Android three-button layout (a home button, a back button, and a list button) and ̔gestures̕, a feature that iPhone users might prefer.

Gestures removes the buttons, and bases everything off swipes, much like the newer iPhones with a higher screen-to-body ratio. You can easily switch between buttons and gestures in the settings menu of your device so you can choose what works for you.

Customise your home screen to suit you

Android phones typically give you a lot of creativity when it comes to customising the home screen — allowing you to choose how many app icons you want per column, and how many pages of apps you want. This could be a big part of making your Android feel easier to use if you’re switching from an iPhone. Just go into Settings and then look for Home Screen settings. Keep in mind that the location of this setting may differ between devices.

Install your essential apps

You’ll probably want to set up your most-used apps next so your new Android phone is as useful as your old iPhone. Make sure you set up your email app (Gmail, Exchange, etc), have your contacts set up and have all your essential apps installed — this might include YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, your banking app and any music or video streaming apps. Keep in mind that you can still use Apple Music on an Android device, simply download the app from the Google Play Store.

Swapping to the right phone charger

iPhones have unique ‘lightning’ chargers, which are not found on any other phones — this means you’ll need to purchase chargers specifically for your Android handset. With Androids, more common connections are used, typically either Micro-USB cables or the more popular USB-C cables.

As of 2020, some phone manufacturers have also stopped including wall plugs in the box of new handsets, which means you’ll have to purchase a power point charger separately. Just make sure you’re getting the right charger for your device.

Switching from iPhone to Android: Things to keep in mind

With all of the points covered in this article, you should be good to go with your new Android phone. Switching from iPhone to Android is incredibly easy, it just takes some time, organisation and navigating a new format of operating system. Remember that switching from iPhone iOS to Android OS is easy, you just need to get used to using a slightly different smartphone.

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