How to transfer messages, photos, and contacts from iOS to Android

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Apple recently brought its first app to the Play Store, Move to iOSIt’s a simple app — you have both your Android and iOS device on the same WiFi network and you begin transferring all of your Android data to iOS seamlessly!

In the spirit of that, we’ve constructed a handy guide on doing exactly the opposite. We want to help our friends currently stuck on iOS move their data to Android. For those of you that are wanting to make the switch from an iPhone to one of the new Nexus devices or anything other Android device we’ve got you covered!

Apps

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First, a quick mention about moving apps from iOS to Android.

As you know, apps on iOS cannot be transferred to Android. In some cases, you won’t be able to find the same applications you have on iOS available on Android, either. If you do by chance find the same applications you use on Android, it’s worth looking through the app’s settings on both iOS and Android. In the case of Clash of Clans, it takes advantage of the cloud so that you can transfer all of your Clash of Clans data from iOS to the Android app using your Google account and other methods.

If that isn’t the case, chances are Android has an app that will do what you need it to do. The scale of the Play Store is massive; it’d be quite surprising if there wasn’t an app available for what you need.

While apps from iOS cannot be transferred to Android, almost all of the rest of your data can be!

Photos

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Photos are relatively easy to transfer over to Android. The best and most seamless way is to download Google Photos from the App Store. Open the app to begin configuring it. You can choose whether to save them in High Quality or Full Resolution. High Quality may be your only option depending on how many photos you need to save to the cloud. Google Photos allows unlimited storage for saving in High Quality. Choosing Full Resolution will limit the amount of storage supplied by Google.

Now you can download the Google Photos application on your Android device and access all of the photos that were once only on your iPhone. If you so choose, you can download them directly from the cloud as well.

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The alternative option is to plug your iPhone into your computer, open your File Manager on the desktop, select your iPhone and head into Internal Storage > DCIM (the process is very similar on OS X). You can copy all of the folders containing your pictures to your desktop from here. Next, unplug your iPhone and plug in your Android device.

Select and copy all of the photos inside the folder you copied over to your computer. Next, in your File Explorer, select your Android device, and go to Internal StorageDCIM. Finally, paste all of the copied photos into the Camera folder.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully copied all of your iPhone-taken photos to your Android device. The great thing about this method is that you’re copying your images in their full resolution to your Android device over having a potential serious drop in quality by doing it through Google Photos.

SMS Messages

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Text messages are a hit or miss when transferring from iOS to Android. However, there is a method available that’s seen a lot of success, but doesn’t seem to work all of the time. First, plug your iPhone into your computer, open iTunes, and back it up. Once the backup is complete, we’ll need to do some digging in your computer’s File Explorer for the following file:

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Open your computer’s File Explorer and the file will be located in users > usernameAppData > Roaming > Apple Computer > Mobile Sync on Windows or user > Library > Application Support > Mobile Sync > Backup on Mac. These easiest way to locate the file is to copy and paste into your File Explorer’s search bar. After that, just copy and paste it to your Android device’s local storage or microSD card — whichever your preference is.

Next, you’ll need to download a handy Android application called iSMS2droid from the Play Store. Open the app, select “iPhone SMS Database.” On the next screen, make sure “All Text Messages” is selected so that everything is converted over to an XML file.

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Now, head back into the Play Store and download another app called SMS Backup & Restore. Once installed, open the app and select “Restore.” Finally, locate the XML file created by iSMS2droid and select “Restore All Messages.” Once it finishes the process, all of your iPhone messages have been successfully moved over to your new Android device!

Contacts

The iPhone will let you transfer contacts but only one a time. That can be a time-consuming process if you have a lot of people in your address book. Luckily, there’s an application available in the App Store called My Contacts Backup that will speed up the process.

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Once downloaded, open the app and simply select “Backup.” This backs up all of the current contacts on your iPhone. Once the process is finished, select “Email” to attach the newly created VCF file to be sent to your email. Send the email with the file to your Gmail account. Finally, open the email on your Android device and download the VCF file. This will begin importing the contacts into your new phone.

Your Android device should now have all of the pertinent information you had on your old iPhone.

Wrap Up

Even with many applications available to help ease the arduous task of transferring all of your data over to your new Android device, it’s still a time-consuming process. But it’s much quicker than manually entering in all of your old contacts and less disappointing than losing all your text messages and photos.

Are you moving from the iPhone to another Android device? Be sure to let us know which one and why in the comments below!


About the Author: Brad Ward

Brad is a tech enthusiast, writing and tinkering with all things technology since 2011. He currently bounces between the LG G3 and his beloved Moto X! His interests include reading, entrepreneurship, the gym, and of course, queso.