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How to abandon Android and switch to the iPhone 6s

Updated Dec 27th, 2019 12:18AM EST
Switch To iPhone From Android
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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Apple’s new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have now been on sale for exactly a week. Incredibly, that means Apple has likely already sold more new iPhone models than most flagship phones will sell in their lifespans; think for a moment about how crazy that is. People switch from Android to the iPhone all the time — and vice versa, of course — but since new iPhones just launched a week ago, we can expect a massive influx of people jumping ship from Android in order to buy one of Apple’s brand new handsets.

When switching from one mobile platform to another, it can be difficult enough just to get used to the new phone and adapt your usage patterns. Then add on the fact that many people don’t know how to move their data from one phone to the other, and it can be very stressful. You can calm down, though, because BGR is here and we’ll hold your hand through the entire process.

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First things first: If you were smart about how you configured your Android phone, much of your most important data will move over to your new phone automatically.

By that, we mean that important data such as contacts and calendar entries shouldn’t only be stored locally on your phone. Instead, they should be in your Google account. This means that your data is stored in the cloud and you’ll have access to it anywhere you log in, including on a new iPhone (or a new Android phone, for that matter).

So, when you set up your new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, the first thing you should do is open the Settings app, navigate to Mail, Contacts, Calendars and add a new account.

Well, that used to be the case.

Alongside its new iPhones, Apple also released an Android application that does almost all of the heavy lifting for you. It’s called Move to iOS, and you can download it right here. As the app’s name might suggest, Move to iOS takes the pain out of moving much of your most important data from a supported Android phone over to a new iPhone. Of note, any widely available smartphone running Android 4.0 or later should be supported.

Here’s what Move to iOS will actually move from your old phone to your new one:

  • Contacts
  • Message history
  • Camera photos and videos
  • Web bookmarks
  • Mail accounts
  • Calendars

Using the app is very simple. But first, let’s get your iPhone ready to receive data from your old Android phone.

When you power up a new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus for the first time, you’ll be greeted by a welcome screen and you’ll then be walked through the setup process. At one point, you’ll come to a screen that asks if you want to set up your iPhone as a new phone, or if you want to restore your data from somewhere else. If you’re upgrading from another iPhone, for example, you’ll restore your data from iCloud or an iTunes back up. In this case, you’ll want to select “Move Data from Android.”

Now you’re ready to roll. Open Apple’s Move to iOS app on your Android phone, and you’ll be presented with a screen that asks you to enter a 10-digit code. After you select “Move Data from Android” back on your iPhone, the 10-digit code you need will appear on the screen. Enter it in the Android app and the two phones will make a direct Wi-Fi connection.

Now, the Android app will let you select which data you’d like to move from your Android phone to your iPhone. Simply pick the data you want, follow the on-screen instructions, and your info will be moved over to your new iPhone. You’ll then be guided through the rest of the setup process on your iPhone.

But wait. Once you’re done and your data is on your new iPhone, that doesn’t mean your work is done. Apple’s iOS apps are nice and all, but if you used to be an Android user you know that Google’s apps and services are often much better options. Well guess what: Google offers all of its key apps on iOS as well as Android.

On your shiny new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, you can use Google’s Gmail app or Inbox instead of the iOS Mail app, the Google Calendar app instead of the iPhone’s included calendar, Google Play Music instead of the iOS Music app, Google Drive instead of iCloud Drive, Google Photos to back up all of your photos and videos for free without eating up costly iCloud storage space, and even the Chrome browser instead of Safari. You’ll also definitely want to use the Google app for searches, and it also includes Google Now functionality, which you shouldn’t have to live without.

Oh, and whatever you do, don’t forget to install Google Maps on your new iPhone.

As we wrote about earlier this year, Google is taking over the iPhone and we couldn’t be happier. Apple’s iPhones offer a fantastic hardware and software experience, but Apple’s services are often no match for their Google counterparts. As you’ve just learned, however, abandoning Android doesn’t have to mean you’re abandoning Google.

Now that your new iPhone 6s is all set up, here are some posts that will help you get the most out of it:

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.