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Switching from Android to the iPhone 11: Here's the fastest way

You have a new iPhone, but all your photos, videos and messages are on your old Android phone.

You bought yourself a fancy-pants new iPhone 11 ($699 at Apple), or maybe you splurged and got an iPhone 11 Pro with its amazing triple rear cameras. The only trouble is that all of your stuff is on your old Android phone. But just like Samsung and Google made it easy to switch from an iPhone to a Pixel 3 ($813 at Walmart) or Galaxy Note ($950 at Best Buy) 10, Apple has a straightforward way to move all your data on to your new iPhone. It's an Android app that Apple made, called Move To iOS.

This process will transfer contacts, message history, website bookmarks, mail accounts, calendars, photos and videos as well as download any Android apps that are free in the iOS App store. In our testing, this process worked with phones running Android 8.1 or earlier. I tried getting it to work on phones running Android 9 Pie, but the two phones wouldn't connect.

On one hand, I imagine many people are upgrading older phones running older versions of Android. But on the other hand, by the time you read this story perhaps Move To iOS will work with Android 9 Pie. We reached out to Apple but haven't heard back yet.

If you want to follow step-by-step, watch our How to switch from Android to iPhone at the top of this story.

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Apple made an Android app called Move To iOS that makes moving your messages, photos, videos and more from an Android phone to an iPhone a breeze -- sort of.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Transfer data from Android 8.1 or earlier

Since we're transferring data, the first thing you want to do is charge up both phones. Once the batteries are topped off, connect your Android phone, to Wi-Fi.

If you use Chrome on your phone and want to transfer your bookmarks, make sure the app is up to date before starting the transfer process.

Next, power on your new iPhone and follow the prompts until you land on the Apps & Data screen. Choose Move Data from Android.

On your Android phone, install Move To iOS from the Google Play Store, then open it. Back on your iPhone, tap Continue on the Move from Android screen. A 6- or 10-digit code will appear.

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A code will appear on your iPhone. When prompted, type the code on your old Android phone to begin the transfer process.

Apple

Go back to your Android phone and tap Continue on the Move to iOS screen and then read the Terms and Conditions and hit Agree. On the Find Your Code screen, tap Next in the top-right corner. Then, type in the 6- or 10-digit code when prompted.

Next, On your Android device, select the content that you want to move to your iPhone on the Transfer Data screen and tap Next.

This process can take awhile, so I recommend starting it before you go to bed or another time when you aren't using your phone for awhile. Keep in mind that, even if your Android phone indicates that the process is complete, leave both phones alone until the loading bar finishes on your iPhone.

Next, follow the onscreen steps to finish the set-up of your iPhone. After the transfer completes, download any free apps that were matched in the App Store. Finally, make sure that all of your content transferred by browsing through your photo gallery.

Any music, books, or PDFs on your Android device will need to be moved over manually. But you can download all this from your Android phone with the Android File Transfer app on Mac or PC. Then you can add them to iTunes and sync to your iPhone or upload to iCloud Drive.

If you are transferring from Android 9 Pie or newer

If you're on a phone running Android 9 Pie and you're transferring to an iPhone, I recommend trying Move To iOS. If it doesn't work, there are third-party apps for Macs and PCs that should. A popular one is an app called AnyTrans.

Last, if you are heavily invested in the Google ecosystem, there's no need to leave it when you're on an iPhone. There are dozens upon dozens of Google apps for iOS including: Google Chrome, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Maps, Google Photos, YouTube, Google Play Music, Google Play Books and Google Play Movies.

Hopefully this helped make your move from Android to iPhone easier. If you have any tips or software you've used to transfer your Android data to a new iPhone mention that in the comments. Otherwise checkout our story on highlighting 11 hidden features in iOS 13.

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