Google is developing a new iOS app called “Switch to Android,” which should be able to copy the most important data from your iPhone and bring over your apps.
About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.
‘Switch to Android’ app
Today, the official way to bring data from your iPhone to a new Android device is to back everything up into Google Drive then download it again on your new phone. This backs up your most important data and photos, but not your apps or anything you don’t directly tell it to back up.
Android’s official “Data Restore Tool” got an update recently to version 1.0.382048734, and in it, we’ve noticed mentions of a Google-developed “Switch to Android” app for iOS, similar to Apple’s “Move to iOS” app for Android.
Get the Switch to Android app from the App Store
From what we can tell, rather than copying your data through something like a USB-C to Lightning cable, the Switch to Android app flow will start a local WiFi network (like a hotspot) on your Android. On your iPhone, you’ll connect to this new network, and the two apps will take care of the rest.
Go to your Wi-Fi settings
Connect to network ^1 and enter password ^2
One particularly interesting change with the addition of “Switch to Android” is that much of the Data Restore Tool’s text has been altered to mention that your apps can be copied from your iPhone. Here are a few examples.
To transfer more content, like SMS messages and contacts, enter your iTunes® backup password
To transfer apps, SMS messages, and contacts, enter your iTunes® backup password
Your iPhone® device is managed by your organization and has encrypted content.
To transfer iCloud® contacts, device contacts, and iMessage® messages, you’ll need to remove device management on your iPhone® device.
Your iPhone® is managed by your organization and has encrypted content.
To transfer apps, iCloud® contacts, device contacts, and iMessage® messages, you’ll need to remove device management on your iPhone®.
It’s not clear how this would work, beyond Google having a table that knows the Android equivalent of various iOS apps and installs them from the Play Store. Of course, any paid apps wouldn’t be able to carry over without purchasing the Android version.
For now, the Switch to Android app is not yet in the App Store, but it should only be a matter of time. Considering Apple has had the “Move to iOS” app available for well over five years, it’s a surprise Google waited this long to offer an equivalent experience.
Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.
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