In an effort to ease the transition of would-be iPhone owners who fear losing the contents of their Android devices, Apple made a simple tool to help make the transition as smooth as possible. Move to iOS works — even though it really doesn’t do anything at all.
I spend a lot of time jumping from phone to phone. Each time I need to transfer my accounts, re-enter my passwords, re-download apps, and make sure my photos, contacts, and other data are backed up somewhere or transferred properly. It’s a real pain in the neck.
Move to iOS does a pretty a good job of ameliorating some of the pain, although it’s hardly a miracle app.
I took it for a spin by transferring my data from the Android-based OnePlus 2 to a shiny new iPhone 6s Plus. After downloading the app on the OnePlus 2 and connecting both phones the same Wi-Fi network, I proceeded to set up the iPhone from scratch. At the very beginning of the setup process you’ll see the option to transfer from Move to iOS.
Once the phones find each other on your Wi-Fi, You’ll need to enter a pairing code on your Android device for security.
From there, you select what you want to transfer. You want to transfer everything, obviously. Accounts, photos, contacts, texts, etc.
After confirming, the phones get their exchange on. I had a little more than a hundred photos on my phone, plus a slew of text messages. The whole transfer process was over in about four minutes.
What does Move to iOS successfully transfer?
It’s probably a good thing that you have to go re-enter all of your passwords for your Google accounts, but one annoying thing about the iPhone’s user experience design is being bombarded with dialogue after dialogue after dialogue. Enter your password! Enter your password! Enter your password! It would be easier if you let me type!
Really the only indispensible service the app provides is moving your text messages over. Everything else should be synced in the cloud anyway. I mean you use a Google account right? Sync your photos and contacts to Google Photos and Gmail and then you don’t have to do this stuff ever.
Worse, you still have to go download all of your apps. I realise there is probably no good way for you iPhone to infer that if you had, say, Instagram on Android that it should download it from Apple’s store, but wouldn’t that be nice?
I suppose the fact that an app performs a lot of tasks a competent phone user shouldn’t need it to is emblematic of Apple’s approach to user experience. If you’re just a regular Android owner, Move to iOS will get you going with your contacts, texts, and photos intact on your new iPhone, with no logging in whatsoever. It’s not smart at all. That it’s dumb is precisely the point.
Photos by Michael Hession