Google launches ‘Switch to Android’ app on iOS

Losing your data including contacts, pictures and videos is one of the biggest hurdles when contemplating a switch from an iPhone to an Android-powered smartphone.

You would have to include cables and probably a third device like a PC or laptop to ensure you do not lose data that you hold dear. Now all these challenges might be a thing of the past as Google has now made switching to its Android OS from iOS much simpler and convenient thanks to the company’s new app, ‘Switch to Android’

In a silent release on 18th April, the Switch to Android app was launched on the App Store in several global markets. From its description, the app aims to make the transition between mobile platforms easier to manage by helping users import their contacts, calendars, photos, and videos to their new Android phones.

The app has further integrations, as it also instructs users to turn off Apple’s iMessage in order to receive messages on their new device. It also connects with iCloud, making the migration of videos and photos to an Android device a straightforward exercise.

Google has not made an official announcement regarding the launch, and the Switch to Android’s website is also yet to include an update that the app is now officially available for download. Why this is the case is still unclear, but Google might be giving itself time to ensure the process is bulletproof with minimal chances of loss of data before announcing it to the world.

At the moment, the app can also only be downloaded from this link. It is not yet visible on the App Store or in the App Store search results.

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The plan to launch an app for making switching from iOS to Android much more intuitive has not come out of the blue, as earlier in 2021, Android enthusiasts spotted a reference to a Google-developed Switch to Android app for iOS after sifting through the code found within Android’s official Data Restore Tool.

The discovery was then followed up by 9to5Google reporting last month that the app appeared to have gained the ability to seamlessly migrate a user’s photos and videos from iCloud to Google Photos. This information was also deduced from going through Google’s code.

One major limitation the app has at the moment is that it cannot migrate a users’ applications. Therefore, if you have 30+ apps downloaded, you will still have to manually search through the Play Store in order to download them afresh on your new Android device.

This hurdle can not simply be avoided, since Apple limits which third-party apps can scan a user’s iPhone to get the list of other apps that the user has installed. This is actually a good security feature to keep people’s information safe from potential malware and trojans that might try to masquerade as the apps you typically use to fish passwords and other sensitive information from you that can then be used to wipe your bank accounts clean.

It is worth noting that Apple also has an equivalent app called Move to iOS that can help you switch from Android to iOS without losing your data. It was the first app from Apple that debuted on Google’s Play Store, all the way back in 2015.

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Naftaly is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for tech, video games and pop culture. When he is not writing articles for AndroidKenya, he is probably rewatching the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the hundredth time. Email at Twitter @KarisNaftaly

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