Making the change from iPhone to Android as easy as possible

Moving your stuff from your iPhone to an Android phone doesn't have to be exceptionally laborious. Here's how you can make that transition smoothly.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Is iOS starting to feel a bit stale for your taste? It's something I'm hearing more and more as I talk to iOS users, or former iOS users. With some amazing Android phones hitting the market, it's tough not to get caught checking out the competition -- or even feeling a bit compelled to make the jump to Android.

But before you make the change, there are some kinks that need to be worked out to make the process go as smoothly as possible. You likely have contacts, a calendar, photos, and music that you'll want to bring over to your new Android device. Some of these are going to be pretty easy to get transferred, while others are going to take some work. So sit down in front of your computer, preferably with both devices, and let's get started.

Before you begin setting up your Android device, you're going to need a Google account, be it a Google Apps or Gmail account. It's not required on an Android device, but if you're going to take advantage of all that Android has to offer, you'll want to sign up for one. You'll be asked to log in to this account during the initial setup process on your Android device. If you skipped this step and want to go back and add the account later, you can go to Settings > Accounts > Add Account > Google. This same process can be followed to add another type of account (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.).

Contacts, Calendar and Mail

If your contacts are syncing from your iPhone to Gmail, transferring them will be a breeze. Just make sure you sign into your Android device using the same account you use on your iPhone and make sure Contact sync is enabled. For other accounts, such as Yahoo, you'll need to export your contact list from the Web site for the account. You can typically find this in settings for your account. Or, some carriers offer a free app in the App Store built specifically for transferring your contacts. Verizon and AT&T have apps that do just that.

Should you be an iCloud user, you can still use your iCloud account to sync calendars and contacts to your Android device, but you're going to have to purchase a couple of apps. I have talked about one of the apps before, called SmoothSync for Cloud Contacts ; the calendar app is called SmoothSync for Cloud Calendar. These two apps will add your iCloud account to your Android device, allowing you to keep your iPad or Mac in sync with your Android device. This comes in especially useful if you're sharing an iCloud calendar with a family member and don't want to force him or her to switch to Google Calendar just because you've switched to Android.

Music

Perhaps one of the quickest steps of moving from an iPhone to Android is getting your music collection on your new device. What you'll need to do is download the Google Music app to your computer and point it at your music collection. Google will then store your music in the cloud, up to 20,000 songs for free, and let you stream it on your shiny new Android device via the Music app. Anytime you add new music to your catalog, the Music Manager app will automatically upload and sync it to your Android device for you.

If using Google Music isn't possible for you, you can drag-and-drop the music on your computer into the Music folder (create one if it's not present) on your Android device via a USB connection. Mac users will have to use the Android File Transfer app to access their device's storage.

Photos

With the introduction of iCloud and its Photo Stream service, getting photos off your iOS device is easy. Using iPhoto on a Mac, or installing the iCloud Control Panel on a Windows machine you can conveniently grab photos from your iPhone and then sync them to your Android device via USB or through your Google+ account.

For videos on your iPhone, you'll need to use iTunes, iPhoto, or a file explorer to grab the files. Using a program like iExplorer, Image Capture (found in the Utilities folder on a Mac), or the native Windows File Explorer taking the files off your device is simple.

Going forward, you can sync photos from your Android device to your computer via USB, or by installing the Dropbox app and enabling its Camera Upload feature. Rather not mess with a file explorer? The Dropbox Camera Upload feature is another method to get photos off of your iPhone and on to your computer.

Customizing

One of the biggest changes you'll experience when switching over from an iPhone to an Android device is the ability to customize your device. The options for changing different aspects of your Android device are nearly endless. While it's hard to cover all of the different ways to customize your device, this post covers 12 of the more popular methods. From assigning ringtones to contacts, editing contact photos, to adding custom ringtones and wallpaper, you'll find apps and guides to help with the transition from iOS to Android.

Twelve ways to customize your Android device

Whenever you switch from one platform to another, there's always a headache that goes along with the first few weeks of using the device. Hopefully this guide helped ease the headache a bit and sped up the learning process.

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About the author

Jason Cipriani has been covering mobile technology news for over five years. His work spans from CNET How To and software review sections to WIRED’s Gadget Lab and Fortune.com.

 

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