Is Apple’s Move to iOS app the best way to go from Android to iPhone?

Is Apple’s Move to iOS app the best way to go from Android to iPhone?

During Apple’s recent earnings call, CEO Tim Cook announced a record number of new iOS users were coming from Android.

I’m not sure how those users have found themselves in iOSville, but there are some noted pain points when switching platforms. To help with the migration, Apple published its Move to iOS app in the Play Store.

But is it the best way to move from Android to iOS? That depends on what type of user you are.


What it does

Move to iOS grabs all your account info from an Android phone and plugs it into your new iPhone over Wi-Fi.

When setting up a new iPhone, select the option to import from Android to generate an authentication code you’ll need to enter on the Android handset. On your Android phone, open the Move to iOS app, enter that code and follow the prompts. The app walks you through everything step-by-step.

Your contacts, photos and messages are all ported over so you can pick up on iOS where you left off in Android. It gets you up and running faster than you would if you were trying to figure out how to manually plug that info in.


Where it fails

If you just want to get started with your new iPhone quickly, this app is definitely the best way to do that. It’s a lot like the old data transfer machines carriers used before the cloud made information so easy to store.

It won’t bring your apps over, of course, but it also doesn’t attempt to find the same app in the App Store. You’ll have to go fetch those manually, which may get tedious.

That app-finding functionality is coming, according to the app’s website, but it’s not there at the time of publication.

I’ll also point out the migration doesn’t teach a new user anything about settings on their new iPhone. It plugs all the info in for you, but if you’re brand new to iOS — you may not know where to access it all later on.

Apple should have created a ‘welcome to iOS’ walkthrough for those times you do come over from Android. I was once coming into iOS blind from Android-land, so I know it can be confusing at times. Less tech-savvy users will likely need more help than I did.


Moving is always hard

Move to iOS is likely definitely something I’d suggest for those who may be totally new to iOS. Getting up and running from scratch can be tough, and this helps get you past entering your info several times over.

I also like it for those of us who have complex passwords. 1Password created all of my login info, and entering it manually is a pain. Entering it several times during activation is even worse. With Move to iOS, I was up and running in about 10 minutes; that’s from turning the new iPhone on to the transfer being complete.

If you use the app to go from Android to iOS, I would suggest taking a stroll through your iOS settings once it’s complete. Simply knowing where the ‘Mail, Contacts, Calendar’ info is being stored will help you out later on.

If this app were around when I decided to go from Android to iOS, it would have made the on-boarding process much simpler. It could use some follow-up on the iOS side, but it gets you over the hump quickly.

As a side note, you should also ignore the 2-star rating Move to iOS has. In my experience, it works just fine over a solid Wi-Fi connection. Its rating has more to do with Android users’ sour grapes than anything Apple did.

Read next: New report says Android and Chrome OS will merge, but also remain separate [Updated]