Goodbye IPhone, Hello Android: How to Switch

Nexus 5X
Nexus 5X Rear. Courtesy Google

Are you tired of your iPhone and ready to switch to an Android phone? Are you worried that you'll lose all your stuff? Can you find the right apps? I won't say that switching phones is ever completely painless, but switching from iPhone to Android is fairly easy, and you'll enjoy your new Android phone.

First, a warning: Android apps and iPhone apps are not compatible, so you will lose all your iPhone apps when you switch to Android.

Sorry. However, many app developers make both Android and iPhone versions of their app, and the data in many cases is stored online. If you install the Android version of Evernote, you can still see any notes you created on your iPhone. The same goes for apps like Kindle, Instagram, Fitbit, Map My Ride, and more. 

Your smart watch isn't going to make the switch, either. Apple watches work with Apple products. Android watches work with Android. 

Google Accounts and Gmail Are Your Friends

Start using Gmail as your default email client. It's free and easy, and when you switch to an Android phone, your email data will come with you. Android uses your Google account for everything, so make sure you have one. You can still set up an Exchange email account, and you can still check email on other services if you really want to keep that .me account, but you should have a Google account no matter what.

 

Sync Your IOS Contacts With Google

Before you make the big switch, use iTunes to sync your contacts with Gmail and you calendar with Google Calendar. Double check your contacts at www.google.com/contacts to make sure they're showing up in Google. You could also use contact syncing apps from iTunes before you make the switch.

 

Sync Your Itunes Music With DoubleTwist

Switching your phone doesn't mean you need to give up your extensive iTunes music and video library. You can use doubleTwist to sync your iTunes library with your Android phone, or you can check out these other great Android music apps.

Move Your Photos 

Your photos may just be stored on your phone if you're not using iCloud to back them up, so connect your iPhone via USB and transfer them to your computer. You can also install Google Photos on your iPhone and use it to back your photos up to the cloud. They'll be available on your Android when you get there. 

Google Now Is Your New Siri

You can still talk to your phone. Instead of asking Siri questions, you can ask "Ok Google" and get answers from Google Now. Sometimes Google Now even gives you answers to questions you haven't asked, like how long it will take to get home and when the next bus is leaving. 

Your Interface Will Change

But it will soon become familiar. The interface has changed between versions of Android as well, but it usually changes for the better. Android and IOS have had similar evolutions, so switching between the two rapidly becomes old hat. 

Learn to Love the Widget

Androids and iPhones both get app icons, but  Android loves widgets.

Widgets are mini apps that run on your Home screen and may be interactive. Widgets let you do things like check the weather or read email without launching your email app. Toggling widgets are especially useful since they'll let you toggle your Wi-Fi or background data sync on and off in a hurry.

Google Play Is Now Your App Store

Rather than using Apple's App Store, the Google Play is the default app store for Android. Notice how I said default? Android phones aren't bound to just one market. By checking a box allowing third-party app installation, you can install apps from alternative markets or even just from links on the Web.

However, don't go crazy with your new power. You should be cautious about installing apps from third party app stores.