How to move your contacts from iOS to Android
Are you finding Apple’s iOS slightly stale? Perhaps one of the newly-launched Android phones has caught your eye? Moving your data from one platform to another needn’t be stressful, and is certainly no reason to avoid switching to Android. We guide you through the process for your contacts
The smartphone market is split down the middle, and the two eco-systems – Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android – don’t always play well together.
But if you’ve spotted a new Android phone and are thinking of ditching Apple, you needn’t be worried by the prospect of migrating your data. By following easy steps it’s possible to move everything over in just a few minutes.
Follow these five simple steps to moving your contacts from an Apple device to Android.
1. Log-in to your iCloud account on your desktop or laptop by visiting www.icloud.com and entering your Apple ID username and password – this is the same password you have to enter when you buy apps or music.
2. Click on the contacts icon and select which contacts you want to copy by holding CTRL and clicking on them with your mouse. If you want to select them all, then click on the gear icon in the bottom-left and “select all”.
3. You then need to get this file onto your new Android phone. Two easy ways to do this are to plug the phone into your PC and drag the file into its memory, or simply email it to yourself as an attachment and access it via the email app on your phone.
Incidentally, that email can be saved as a handy backup of your contacts.
4. Once it’s on your phone you need to import those contacts. Go to your “Contacts” or “People” app, whichever it’s called on your specific phone, and tap the “action overflow” icon (this is the three dots in a vertical line, where rarely-used commands are hidden).
5. Select import and point to your VCF file – your contacts will now be on your new phone.
Transfer contacts from Android to iPhone: use Google the simple way
There are two ways of transferring contacts from Android to iOS. We’ll outline them both below, but if you have been using your Android phone for any length of time we strongly suggest you try them in the order we have written them. (See also: how to transfer contacts from BlackBerry to iPhone.)
If you have been using your Android phone and Google account (Gmail, Google Play, etc) for any length of time the chances are that all of your contacts will be associated with your Google account. At the very least the ones you use most often should be.
So make sure you have backed up your Android phone. Go to Settings on your Android phone and choose “Accounts and Sync” or similar. Enter your GMail account details and enable synchronisation. Your phone contacts and Google Contacts should now synchronise.
Then go to your new iPhone. Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars and add your Gmail account. Make sure Contacts are enabled for the account. You should now find that all of your Google contacts are in your iPhone. See also: iPhone productivity app reviews.
Transfer contacts from Android to iPhone: go deep with Google
For belt and braces, and to make sure this process always works in future, consider doing the following, either on your iPhone after you have followed the steps above, or on your Android before you make the move:
- Open the Settings application on your iPhone.
- Select Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
- Select Add Account…
- Select Other
- Select Add CardDAV Account
- Fill out your account information in the following fields:
- Server: Enter “ “
- User Name: Enter your full Google Account or Google Apps email address.
- Password: Your Google Account or Google Apps password. (If you’ve enabled 2 Step verification, you’ll need to generate and enter an application specific password.)
- Description: Enter a description of the account (e.g. Personal Contacts).
- Select Next at the top of your screen.
- Make sure that the “Contacts” option is turned to ON.
After you’ve completed setup, open the Contacts app on your device, and syncing will automatically begin begin your iPhone and Google. Any time you set up any smartphone Google should hold the key to all of your contacts. Visit our iPhone spotlight for more iPhone tips.
Transfer contacts from Android to iPhone: just swap SIMS
This works only if your Android phone takes a similar sized SIM to your iPhone, either a micro- or nano-SIM for later iPhone models. (You can of course cut down any SIM to fit, but do this only as a last resort – if you get it wrong the SIM and your contacts are gone for good.)
First save all contacts on the Android phone to its SIM. Next, insert the SIM into your iPhone, taking care not to mislay the iPhone’s SIM. Finally, go to Settings and choose “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” and tap “Import SIM Contacts”. When the operation has finished, you can replace iPhone’s SIM card with the original card. See also: Every Apple product reviewed.
Transfer apps from Android to iPhone
There’s no easy way around this. If you have to pay for an app on Google Play, you’ll likely have to pay to buy again on iTunes. That’s the bad news, the good news is that in almost every case the app you like using on Android is available on iTunes, and the login details you use on the one will work on the other. This means that any content or service you purchased through your Android app will likely be accessible on your iPhone. So once you have started using your iPhone, simply sign up for the iTunes App store, and start searching for those apps you love.
Transfer photos and videos from Android to iPhone
There are a couple of simple ways of doing this. The first involves installing a data-transferring app. You can find several data-transferring apps on the Apple App Store, but remember you need to find them first on your Android in the Google Play store. We recommend Copy My Data and PhotoSync. Then it is easy, simply install your chosen app on both your Android and your iPhone, and you will be guided through moving files from one to the other.
The other way to move photos from Android to iPhone is to use a computer with iTunes. You need only to find the photos and videos on your Android phone, move them to your computer, sync them to iTunes, and then sync your new iPhone with iTunes. A similar process works for music, as we will outline below.
To transfer your photos from Android to iPhone, simply connect your Android phone to your PC or Mac. Choose the photos and videos you want to move, and drag them to a folder on your computer. For simplicity I would create a new folder on the Desktop called… ‘Photos for transfer’.
Now plug in your iPhone to your PC or Mac, open iTunes, and click your iPhone. Click Photos, select the ‘Sync Photos from’ checkbox, and choose the folder into which you saved your photos. Click Apply and the photos will sync to your iPhone.
Transfer music from Android to iPhone
The principle here is similar to that of transferring photos from Android to iPhone. You need to get music files from your Android and on to your PC or Mac, then get those files into iTunes and sync up your iPhone. It should be very simple to transfer anyThe critical stage here is to back up your Android to a PC or Mac. Because most Android devices can be mounted and used as external storage, this can be as simple as dragging all of your music files from the mounted Android phone’s folder structure, and moving them into the music folder on your PC or Mac.
Now install and open iTunes on your computer. Go to Library, and click Music. Open the folder into which you put your music files, and drag them to the Music view in iTunes.
Now hook up your iPhone, click iPhone, and then click Music. You can choose to sync your entire library, or select only the songs or artists you just added. Then click Sync and the songs will be added to your iPhone.