In April 2022, Google quietly released a new iOS app that made the transition from an iPhone to an Android smartphone less stressful. “Switch to Android” was the app’s straightforward name.
The Switch to Android app, as mentioned in the original Slashbeats article covering this development, allows users to wirelessly transfer data from their iPhones to an Android device. However, this information was limited to photos, videos, calendar entries, and contacts. The app was also unable to send cross-platform text messages or transfer app cache. This meant that users switching from iPhones to Android would have to discard their old text messages and saved app settings.
Surprisingly, the app’s true Achilles’ heel was not the lack of these two features. Instead, most people were turned off by the fact that Switch to Android only supported switching from an iPhone to a Google Pixel device. Given that Pixel smartphones account for a negligible portion of Android smartphone sales, the vast majority of iPhone users who wanted to switch from iPhone to Android were simply unable to use the app because they purchased a non-Pixel smartphone.
Until now, that is. Google has released the Switch to Android app this week to support data transfer from iPhones to all smartphones running Android 12 and newer.
Advantages and features of the Switch to Android app
According to Google’s blog post announcing the availability of the Switch to Android for all Android devices running Android 12, Google wants people to see this as a reliable method of switching. While an iPhone to Android switch was previously possible without the use of a dedicated app, Google now prefers that users use this single app for both wired and wireless data transfers.
According to the Google blog post, the entire data transfer process will be seamless, with clear on-screen instructions. These steps will be displayed automatically on Android phones during the initial setup process. When prompted on the setup screen, users who are switching from an iPhone should select the option for transferring data from iPhone to Android. Users will also be given the option of choosing between wired and wireless data transfer.
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When they select the method of data transfer, they will be prompted to download the Switch to Android app from the iOS App Store. Once installed, the app will walk users through the entire data transfer process, prompting them to grant all necessary permissions to ensure a smooth data transfer.
Even after Google expanded the list of Android devices that can support the switching app, many users will be unable to use it because the vast majority of Android users continue to use devices that run Android 11.