Here’s Google’s new Switch to Android app for iPhones [Update: All Android 12 phones] – 9to5Google | Hot Mobile Press

Google is preparing to launch a brand new way to switch from Apple’s iPhones to an Android device. Here’s your first look at Google’s Switch to Android app running on an iPhone.

To update: Google’s Switch to Android app now supports all Android 12 devices, not just Pixel.

When switching from one Android device to a new one, it’s easy to simply connect the two phones together — either wirelessly or with a USB cable — to seamlessly copy all your apps, contacts, messages, photos, and more. In contrast, copying your data from an iPhone to Android wasn’t nearly as easy as you had to back up your data to Google Drive and restore it manually. Android 12 has made things a little easier, allowing you to copy contacts, apps, and media, but only via a Lightning cable connection.

Conversely, Apple has been offering a dedicated “Move to iOS” app for Android for over five years, trying to make joining the Apple ecosystem as easy as possible. Back in July 2021, we reported that Google was working on its own app to help new customers turn their next phone into an Android device.

The move to Android has now been launched as an unlisted app on the App Store – a feature Apple only recently introduced – only accessible via a direct link that our APK Insight team was able to uncover.

Using this link we were able to successfully install and run Switch to Android on an iPhone. While everything seems to be ready on the iOS side, the Android setup and recovery process is not ready for the availability of the Switch to Android app.

On the first screen, the app explains exactly what it can copy from your iPhone to your new Android phone, including “photos, videos, contacts, and more.”

The next step will ask you to scan a QR code that should appear on your Android phone during the setup and recovery process. Unfortunately, we couldn’t access this setup flow, but the gist is that your new Android phone would generate a hotspot that your iPhone would connect to. Once connected, most of your important data will be transferred wirelessly.

We can preview how this step will work thanks to screenshots included in the App Store listing. In it we see switches for “Contacts”, “Calendar Events”, “Photos” and “Videos”. Below that switch is a disclaimer that only the photos and videos stored locally on your iPhone will be copied to your new Android, and that media in your iCloud will be processed later.

Once the copying is complete, you’ll be reminded to turn off iMessage to ensure messages from your friends who still have iPhones are actually delivered via SMS instead of disappearing into the iMessage void. The final step of the Switch to Android process is to request a transfer of your iCloud data to Google Drive/Google Photos. The “Start Request” button simply launches Safari to an iCloud support page where you can “Request a Copy of Your Data Be Transferred”.

update 19.04: Given in a statement TechCrunch, Google has stated that they have started making Switch to Android available for iPhone owners and are gradually making the app publicly available on the App Store. The app is now available to all interested parties via a direct link.

Around 6:00 p.m. PT Monday night, Google began rolling out the Switch to Android app to the public. The company expects this process to reach 10% of users by the end of the day on Tuesday, April 19th, and 100% of users over the next few weeks.

Of course, Switch to Android doesn’t work on its own and will require some changes to the Android setup process, which are likely to be rolled out now as well.

update 28.4: Based on a new tweet, Google is now actively promoting its Switch to Android app to potential Pixel customers, as well as via a new landing page on the Android website. By all indications, it should now be possible to copy a plethora of data from your old iPhone to a new Android phone, either wirelessly or with a cable. In particular, you can copy:

  • contacts
  • Locally stored photos
  • SMS/MMS/iMessage message and media history
  • WhatsApp message and media history
  • Free apps also available on the Play Store
  • Custom wallpaper
  • DRM-free music
  • call logs
  • alarm
  • Some device settings

updated 29.06: After initially marketing Switch to Android only to potential Pixel buyers, Google now allows the app to migrate data from iPhone to any device running Android 12 or later. This even includes devices at the affordable end of the spectrum built with Android 12 Go Edition.

All in all, Switch to Android is a delightfully straightforward experience that makes it as easy as possible to leave the walled garden of the iPhone ecosystem behind. It’s currently not clear when Google intends to launch Switch to Android broadly, but considering how long Apple’s own Move to iOS app has been on the Play Store, Google’s alternative is already years later than it should have been meant to be.

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article.

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