How to Make the Switch from Android to iOS

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Android is a fine OS, but the lure of a new iPhone may be too much to resist. If you're going to make the switch, you won't want to leave any scrap of your precious mobile identity in Android's cold robotic embrace. Here's how to pack up everything you'll need to bring to your new life in Apple's walled garden.

Contacts and Calendars

There are two ways to get your contacts and calendar dates from Android onto iOS. The exact method depends on how you store the info on an Android phone.


If your local data is synchronized online with a Google account:

  • 1. On your iPhone select Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  • 2. Set up a new "Microsoft Exchange" account (yes, even if you're trying to import from Gmail).
  • 3. Input your email address and login info. Enter a domain if you have one for an actual ME server; Gmail users can leave it blank.
  • 4. Select "Server," then either input the ME server address or "" for Gmail.
  • 5. On the final screen, select what you want to import—Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and/or Reminders—then hit Accept.

If your contact information lives in the Android phone's local memory:

  • 1. Open the Contacts app on your Android, tap the menu key and select Import/Export.
  • 2. Select the option to "Export to SD Card" (it should save as 00001.vcf by default).
  • 3. Connect the SD card to your PC (either via the phone, through a USB cable, or with a card reader). Copy the .vcf file from the SD card onto your desktop.
  • 4. Log in to your Gmail account and select Contacts from the drop down menu in the upper left corner of the screen. Choose Import from the More Actions menu bar. Select the .vcf file and import it.
  • 5. With your contacts online, you can import them onto the iPhone. Follow the steps above.

All Your Media

You've got a couple options here. If you want to just move your photos and videos wholesale from Android to iPhone, iTunes is the way to go:

  • 1. Plug the Android device into your PC and Sync it with Outlook or Exchange.
  • 2. Unplug the Android phone, and connect the iPhone either through a USB or over Wi-Fi. Launch iTunes.
  • 3. Select "Sync with iPhone." Choose what you want imported onto the phone—Applications, Audio content, Bookmarks, Books, Contacts, Calendars, Movies and TV shows, Photos, Notes, Documents (File Sharing apps only), and Ringtones—and then let iTunes do its thing.

If you already keep a lot of your data in the cloud, your best bet is to leave it there. For storage lockers like Evernote, Amazon Cloud Player, and Dropbox, simply download the iOS version of the app. That data should sync automatically.

If you use Google Play, which Apple only partly supports on iOS, you may be out of luck—especially if you don't want to pay for a service you previously got for free. You can always just manually load music onto your iPhone using iTunes. Download the Spotify app and listen to that while you get organized.



The biggest sticking point when migrating from one OS to another is reassembling your app collection. You should be able to duplicate many popular Android programs on the App Store—Instagram, Foursquare, Uber, Seamless and the like. But what do you do when you want to re-download your copy of NBA Jam, and EA asks for another five boomshakalakan bucks?


You politely ask them to comp it.

Call or email to their customer service center to explain your position, highlighting the fact that you already paid for the Android version and are simply migrating operating systems. You want to continue using their excellent product, and you don't want to be stopped by the small matter of a few dollars. If you ask nicely enough, you've got a good chance. But don't be surprised if they scoff at you for requesting a 99-cent handout, since you were able to come up with $200 to spend on that shiny new phone.


[Apple 1, 2 - Business Insider - Everything iCafe - Sprint]