The easiest way to transfer data from Android to iOS

It only takes a few minutes to get all your important data from an Android device to an iPhone or iPad. Here's what you need to know.

James Martin/CNET

It used to be a big pain to switch from one mobile platform to another, but it's now easier than ever to transfer all of your old data from an Android device to your new iPhone or iPad.

Apple's Move to iOS app in the Google Play Store makes the process quick and easy. While it can't transfer your apps, music or passwords, it can be used to transfer your photos, calendar, contacts, text messages, photos and videos.

The Move to iOS app supports phones and tablets running Android 4.0 or later and can transfer data to devices running iOS 9 or higher.

The process

Screenshot by Dan Graziano/CNET
  • On your iPhone or iPad, begin the normal setup process until you reach the Apps & Data screen. From here select the "Move Data from Android" option. A 10-digit code will then appear on the screen.
    • Note that if you have already completed the setup process, you will be required to erase your device. This can be done on your iPhone or iPad by going to Settings, clicking on General, followed by Reset, and choosing the "Erase all content and settings" option.
  • On your Android device, enable Wi-Fi and connect to a network. Then head to the Google Play Store and download the Move to iOS app. Open the app, click Continue, agree to the terms of use, click Next and then enter the 10-digit code from the iPhone.
Screenshot by Dan Graziano/CNET
  • You will have the option to pick and choose what you would like to transfer to your new device: Options are your Google account, Chrome bookmarks, text messages, contacts, and photos and videos. Select the items you would like to transfer and click Next.
  • Your Android device will now begin transferring the content over to your iPhone or iPad. Depending on how much is being transferred, it could take a couple of minutes for the entire process to complete. It took me less than 10 minutes.
    • Note that while the Move to iOS app recommends that you recycle your device at the Apple Store, you may be better off selling it through eBay or a service like Gazelle. See this guide for more information.

Google apps on iOS

As an Android user, you are likely familiar with apps and services from Google, such as Google Maps and Gmail. A number of these are available on iOS, including Google Chrome, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Keep, Google Search, Google Calendar, Google Maps, Google Photos, YouTube, Google Play Music, Google Play Books and Google Play Movies.

To be exact, Google has developed 62 apps for iOS. You can find the full list here.

Having trouble?

While the process of transferring data from Android to iOS is relatively straightforward, it's nice to know there is a safety net. Apple offers a free personal setup service with your new iPhone or iPad. The service is available at your local Apple Store or online for customers without a retail location nearby.

You can also check out CNET's guide to getting started with an iOS device.

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