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How to switch from iOS (iPhone or iPad) to Android

Switching from an iPhone to an Android phone is simple enough, but is it actually a good idea? Here’s how to move to iOS from Android and the pros and cons involved.

1. Apps, iTunes and Google Play

If you’ve had an iPhone for a while, the main concern is how much cash you’ve spent on Apple’s App Store and iTunes. If you’ve thrown hundreds of pounds at Apple for apps, then don’t forget you’ll have to re-buy everything you need when you swap to Android. Android phones use the Google Play store for apps, and Apple’s iOS apps won’t run.

If you haven’t invested heavily in iPhone apps or you’re willing to re-buy, then switching from iOS to Android shouldn’t be too painful. You can move your music, photos, contacts and other bits without too much effort if you follow these steps.

2. Moving your important contacts from your iPhone to Android

Switching phones inevitably raises concerns – what happens to the contact details on my iPhone? Can I copy them across to my new Android mobile?

The short answer is, yep. First, we need to check where your contacts are saved. To do this, go to your iPhone’s Settings menu and head to Mail, Contacts, Calendars. At the top of this page you’ll see your various accounts and one should have ‘Contacts’ listed beneath it.

If your contacts are saved to iCloud, then go to icloud.com and sign in with your Apple ID. Then, in the Contacts section, select all of your available contacts and click the settings logo, before choosing ‘Export vCard’.

Next, go to gmail.com and sign in with your Google account. Click the ‘Gmail’ drop-down in the top left corner, then select ‘Contacts’. Click the ‘More’ button and then select ‘Import’. Choose the vCard file and your contacts will be imported to your Google account, and will automatically appear on your Android phone.

3. Moving your music, photos and other media to your new Android phone from iOS

Photos can be easily transferred to your Android phone using Google Photos. Just download the Google Photos app from the Apple App Store onto your iPhone, then open it and sign in with your Google account.

Don’t have a Google Account yet? Well, this can be set up when you first boot your Android phone, or by heading into Settings > Accounts > Add Account on your new Android mobile. It’s free to do and only takes a minute.

With that done, head back to Google Photos on your iPhone and tap the menu icon in the top left (three horizontal lines) and then tap ‘Settings’. Next, tap ‘Backup & sync’ and make sure that this is turned on. Your photos will be saved to Google’s cloud service and you can automatically retrieve them on your new Android mobile via the Google Photos app (which now comes pre-installed as standard on new Androids).

As for your iTunes music, check out our guide on switching your tunes to the Galaxy S6 for an idea on how you can copy your tracks to your new Android device. Android thankfully uses a simple drag-and-drop system for copying over media, via Windows Explorer on PCs or Android File Transfer on Macs.

4. Download essential Android apps

Most iPhone apps have an Android equivalent that can be downloaded from the Google Play store. When your Google account is set up, you’re free to download as much as you like from Google Play – just open the app and browse away. Check out our list of essential Android apps and our pick of the best Android starter apps for an idea of where to start.

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