Mobility

Switching from Android to iOS this holiday season? Here's the guide that doesn't come with the gift

Apple has made it incredibly easy to leave Android behind, but there are a few catches. Find out how to make the process super smooth for you and your loved ones.

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Image: Apple

The holidays are here, and with them come new gadgets. It's the perfect time to think about jumping ship from Android to iOS, but migrating between ecosystems can be challenging, especially with the prevalence of BYOD in the business world.

Whether you're hoping to get a new iPhone for Christmas, are giving one for Hanukkah, or need to help a relative during Pancha Ganapati there are a few essential things you need to know to make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible.

Apple makes it simple with an Android app

Apple has made migrating to iOS incredibly easy. The Move to iOS app is a quick, simple way to migrate your data from one device to another and all it takes are a few taps on both devices to make it happen.

That's not to say there aren't restrictions, though: The app allows you to choose from four categories—Google account info, messages, contacts, and cameras—but there's no way to select particular items from them. If you have a lot of photos or old texts you don't feel the need to move that's a real bummer.

SEE: Apple iPhone 7: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)

Getting the most out of Move to iOS means doing a bit of manual labor, though it's nowhere near what's needed to go from iOS to Android.

Time to sort your stuff

The best time to organize a filing cabinet is when you get a new one, and the same goes for smartphones. Like desk drawers, cabinets, and closets, smartphones have a tendency to get filled up with junk that we really don't need anymore.

Duplicate contacts, old pictures of the inside of your pocket, and text messages from a year and a half ago can all get disposed of.

Deleting unwanted photos is easy enough, but what about managing your contacts? That's a bit trickier and can be daunting for those with a large address book.

SEE: 5 overlooked features of iOS 10 (TechRepublic)

For starters you should merge duplicates—that's usually the source of most address book ire. Open the Contacts app, then tap on More. From there tap Settings, then Merge Duplicate Contacts.

All the people in your Contacts with more than one entry will pop up and you'll have the option to merge or skip each one. It's a real headache saver—last time I did it I had 51 contacts with multiple entries.

Deleting people is still a manual process, unfortunately, but Android does make it simple. Tap More again, then tap Delete. A checkbox will pop up next to each person and you can simply scroll through and choose who to wipe.

Deleting texts is similar to manually deleting contacts: Open the Messaging app, tap on More, then tap Edit. Checkboxes pop up again, giving you the option to delete selected messages.

The rest is easy

Once you've finished getting rid of unwanted data it's simple to complete your migration to iOS: Just follow the prompts in the app and you'll be all set.

If you're concerned about losing all the apps you relied on while using Android don't be —once your iPhone is done setting itself up you'll be prompted to install any free apps that have iOS versions. Paid apps, unfortunately, have to be purchased again, but all the Android ones that are also on iOS will be added to your App Store wishlist.

Are you more of a visual learner? Check out the gallery of Android to iOS migration here.

Also see

About Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.

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