Google has always done a great job of making the process of moving from one Android device to another quick and easy. But when coming from iOS, which uses an entirely different set of apps and services, the process can be quite a bit trickier. Some Android device manufacturers, like Samsung, provide tools for importing iTunes content, but this is not a feature available on all Android devices. Starting with Android 7.0 Nougat, however, Google will make the process quite a bit easier.
When setting up a new Android device for the first time, you will now have three options. The first will import from another Android device nearby, the second will restore a device from your Google account, and the third will import data from an iPhone or iPad. With the last option, however, the process is not automatic. It essentially just provides the tools you need to import the data, one service at a time. It instructs the user to open Safari on their iOS device, and then browse to android.com/switch. From here, there are links to various Google apps for iOS. For music, it directs the user to the Google Play Music iOS app; for photos, the Google Play Photos iOS app, and so on. It provides them with instructions on how to sync their calendar and contacts on their iPhone with their Google account. Once all the required apps have been downloaded and installed to the iOS device, and the correct Google account has been configured within them, they must back up their data using settings within each app so that it is stored within their Google account. This way, when they sign into the same account from their new Android device, their data will be ready to go.
While this is a good temporary solution, there is certainly room for improvement. Sure, it takes care of getting everything that can be transferred onto the new device, but there are a lot of steps and the process could be much easier. Ideally, Google would have a single app for iOS that would work similarly to Apple’s Move to iOS app, and would move all of the users’ data into their Google account at once, including photos, music, contacts, calendars, and email accounts. To make things even easier, the app could make a list of every app installed on the iOS device, and search for an Android counterpart in the Google Play Store during the initial setup, giving users the option to accept or decline each app installation on an individual basis. Hopefully Google will improve this feature in the future, however, even though it’s not perfect, at least it will provide users with what they need to switch to Android while keeping most of the data that is important to them.