Google's guide for switching from iPhone to Android locks you into its cloud

switching to android
Credit: Google

Following Google’s new guide for switching to Android will put you firmly in the company’s grip.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as Google has strong cloud services for managing your mail, photos, contacts, and music. Yet in contrast with Apple’s recently published tutorial for migrating to the iPhone, Google’s strategy is to keep you using its services even if you do move back to the iPhone one day. Its services are also clearly better at migration and present on both platforms, making switching painless.

For example, the guide recommends downloading Google+ on your iPhone and enabling Auto Backup to import all your photos, which would then show up on your shiny new Android phone with the Photos app.

Same goes with mail: If you already have or plan to set up a new Gmail account, there’s a Gmail app awaiting your arrival if transferring back to iOS. The walkthrough even shows you how to extract your contacts from iCloud and transfer them over to Gmail.

Music? Yep. There’s Google Play Music, where you can subscribe to All Access and, just as with Spotify, listen to anything in the company’s catalogue. The Android guide even shows you how to import all your iTunes music (as long as you have less than 20,000 songs) into Google Play.

Google’s switching guide also reminds you to turn off iMessage so when friends text you it doesn’t keep going to your iPhone.

Why this matters: Switching ecosystems is just as much about where your data resides as what phone you use. Both Apple and Google are battling to get you to buy in to their services so you’ll stay a lifelong customer. The more invested you are in apps and cloud storage, the less likely you are to switch.

Google clearly has a lead in this area as it can more cleanly get you to import data to its services. It assures the company that even if you do leave Android, you can stay in Google’s cloud and generate revenue.

Apple’s guide relies on outside help

Apple, on the other hand, recommends third-party apps for helping you transfer, such as the Copy my Data app for moving your contacts over or the Android File Transfer tool for moving over music saved on your phone.

If you use Google Play Music, the guide should instead point to Google’s tutorial for downloading your music so you can transfer it to iTunes.

Apple also recommends third-party tools PhotoSync and AT&T Mobile Transfer for moving over photos, contacts, calendar, and videos.

Apple also relies on its dominant App Store for soothing one’s switch, with apps for most email and music services, like Yahoo Mail, Spotify, and Beats (which Apple recently purchased).

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