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Know How... 58

Switching from iOS to Android

August 29 2013

If you're interested in switching away from an iPhone or iPad to an Android device, it's actually pretty simple if you know some tips. In today's episode, you'll know how to make a switch without compromising your experience.

Samsung and HTC have tools for you

If you're switching from an iPhone to a Samsung device, you may be able to use Samsung Smart Switch. HTC also has its own tools to transfer your content.

Find your apps

If you can't use Samsung's or HTC's tools, you'll have to do some other work.

When you get an Android device, it will ask you to link it to a Google account. This makes pretty much everything easier. You'll be able to go to your laptop or desktop computer and visit the Google Play store. From there, you can search and find the applications you want and then push them to your phone. The Play store will let you know if the apps you want are compatible with your device. You just go to the store, find the app, and tell the Play store to install the app to your device.

Signing into apps

Once you get all of your apps on your device, you'll have to go through the rigmarole of inputting your password and username in every app. A shortcut to all of this is if you use something like LastPass. For this to work, you'll need to be a LastPass Premium subscriber ($12/year). You'll download the LastPass app and then login. From there, you will see you have a new keyboard option when you're inputting text. You can go into your Android settings to choose your input device and then pick LastPass. This will allow you to input your password and usernames quickly as you move from one app to the next.

Syncing your calendar & contacts

If you already have Google Calendar connected to your iOS device, switching to Android is really simple. You'll just need to login with your Google credentials to get your calendar back. If you've got multiple calendars, definitely check Google Sync. For more information on how to import calendars from an Apple Calendar, check out Google's tutorial.

Importing your contacts from iCloud is pretty simple. You'll just need to go to iCloud.com, select all your contacts and export your contacts to a vCard file. Then you'll go to contacts.google.com and import your vcf file. Your contacts will be imported to your Android device if you're logged in. Here's Google's tutorial on how to import your contacts.

Google Voice

If you have things like two-factor authentication associated with your particular phone number, now may be a good time to port your number to Google Voice. It costs $20, but then your phone number lives with Google. Google Voice is limited to the United States right now.

From there, you'll have to set up Google Voice and your new phone's number. You'll sign into Google Voice and associate that device's number with your account. When people call Google Voice, you'll receive the call or text on your phone. MMS support is still not there. So that's a downside.

Getting your media

To get your photos, turn on Camera Upload on Dropbox or use Google Plus Camera Upload. This will back up your photos to the cloud so you'll have access to them online.

To get music from your iOS to Android, the easiest way we've found is to use Google Music Manager. It will look at your iTunes library and playlists and make them available on your Play Music app.

The downsides of switching

There are some downsides to switching ecosystems. If you've paid for some apps you may have to rebuy the application on Android. DRMed Apple content like iTunes movies will not play on your Android device. If you're in the Amazon ecosystem for video, you'll find there is no Amazon Instant video app like there is on iOS. There is a workaround that lets you install Flash on Android and then watch Amazon Instant Video via the Dolphin browser. Here's a link to a tutorial to how to install Flash and then view Amazon video on Android.

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