Last year, reports started circulating that Google was developing a “Switch to Android” app for iOS users looking to switch from iPhones to smartphones running Google’s Android operating system. Now this app has arrived. On Monday, Google quietly launched the Switch to Android app on the App Store in a number of global markets, including the United States. As expected, the app promises to make it easier to manage the transition between mobile platforms by helping users import their contacts, calendar, photos and videos to their new Android phone.
The app also tells users how to turn off Apple’s iMessage to receive text messages on their new device and allows them to sign in to iCloud to migrate their photo and video library to Android.
Google’s Switch to Android website has yet to update to say the new app is available, and the company hasn’t officially announced its launch. The app also does not appear on the Google Developer page on the App Store or in the App Store search results. It can only be found by clicking on the direct link.
Currently, the Switch to Android website walks users through the standard Android migration process, which involves users backing up their contacts, calendar, photos, and videos through the Google Drive iOS app before switching devices. ‘device.
The company’s plan to develop a standalone app for iPhone to Android switchers was first discovered last year when website 9to5Google dug into the code of the official Android data restore tool. and spotted a reference to a Switch to Android app developed by Google for iOS. . Last month, the site noted that the app appeared to have gained the ability to automatically migrate a user’s photos and videos from iCloud to Google Photos, also based on mentions in the code of another Android app. .
There have been other hints that Google has been working to make it easier for users to transfer their media content to its own platform and services through backend developments. Recently, Google announced an update to the Google Photos app that offered mobile device owners a way to copy photos from competing cloud storage services, including iCloud, Facebook, and others. Previously, transfers had to come from Facebook or iCloud, not the Google app itself.
Unfortunately, Google’s new Switch to Android iOS app does not help in migrating users’ apps. This is likely due to limitations on what third-party apps can access on the user’s device. The apps are not supposed to scan the user’s iPhone to extract a list of all other apps a user has installed, ie.
In its App Store description, the new app promotes its ability to handle moving users’ content between devices without using “fussy cables,” meaning the two phones don’t need to be physically bound to complete the process, as an added benefit.
Google’s app comes several years after Apple’s app that helped Android users switch to iPhones. In September 2015, Apple launched its Move to iOS app for Android users which, notably, was its first app on Google Play (in addition to those of its Beats acquisition.). Likewise, its app helped migrate users’ data including their camera roll, messages, Google account, contacts, and bookmarks.
The app is publicly available from the URL here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1581816143.
Google didn’t provide comment prior to publication, but then contacted us to alert us that the app is not currently available for download in the iOS App Store – as we previously noted in our original story above.
Updated 4/13/22, 3:50 PM ET with comment from Google.