This article has been re-published with permission of MakeUseOf.
You own a Windows Phone or an Android device; you’re happy. But then the urge takes you, and you decide to finally buy an iPad (or you received it as a gift). Or the news comes from above – your company has bought a load of iPhones, and you’re getting one.
How will you get your data from Android or Windows Phone onto your iOS device?
Get Your Android Contacts on iPhone
Thanks to the CardDAV protocol, you can easily migrate your contacts from Android to iPhone. On your Apple device, open Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account… and select Google to enter your Gmail account. From here, enter the username and password from the Google account you use with your Android device.
(If you’re on an older device and not using iOS 8, use the Add Account > Other option, selecting Add CardDAV account, and enter your Gmail credentials; you’ll also need to enter the Server as google.com.)
Finish by tapping Next, then ensure that Contacts is set to On. Once this is done, your contacts will be downloaded to your iOS device, and you’ll soon find everyone is available to call, text and email.
Migrating Contacts from Windows Phone to iPhone
Transferring contacts from Windows Phone to iPhone is very simple. The first way, and possibly the easiest, is to open Settings > Mail, Contact, Calendars > Add Account… and select Microsoft Exchange. Here, enter your Windows account credentials, the same ones you use with your Windows Phone. In the Server field, enter m.hotmail.com and then tap Next, ensuring Contacts are On.
A few moments later, the data should be transferred.
Copying Data & Media to iPhone
If you have data that needs to be copied from your Windows Phone, the best option is to use the OneDrive app for iPhone. As OneDrive (previously known as SkyDrive) is already built into Windows Phone 8.1, all you need to do is install the app, sign-in with your Microsoft credentials, decide what you’d like to sync and wait for the data to download to your iPhone.
Similarly, to transfer your media data and files from Android to iPhone, use Google Drive or Dropbox (or whatever your preferred cloud storage app was on Android – as long as it is also available on iPhone).
Should using cloud storage not work, use iCloud. Linked to the Apple account you created when you setup your iPhone, iCloud is a cloud storage system, like Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive, and like these services there is also a desktop app for Windows and Mac OS X that you can use in conjunction. Along with photos, music and documents, iCloud also syncs contact data between your devices.
You’ll need to be running iOS 8 (we have 10 reasons why) so open Settings > General > Software Update to ensure your iPhone or iPad is up to date, and when this is done visit Settings > iCloud, where you should enter your Apple ID. After this, install the iCloud Drive app, as explained in our guide to accessing iCloud from any device.
Used in conjunction with the Windows Phone desktop app (a version is also available for Mac OS X), you can easily sync your Windows Phone data via your PC or Mac to iCloud. Simply install the version of the Windows Phone desktop syncing app that matches your operating system, connect your Windows Phone device and sync the data from the smartphone to your computer.
When this is complete, your media files and data should soon be available on your iPhone or iPad.
Don’t Forget Your SIM Card!
If you don’t have too many contacts (or too many details for each!), you can circumvent any migration issues by saving your address book to your SIM card.
In Android, do this by opening Contacts > Menu > Export to SIM. However this option isn’t available in Lollipop, so you will need a third party tool to export your contacts to your device SIM.
For Windows Phone users, you can save your contacts to SIM via Settings > People > Export to SIM.
When you come to insert the SIM card in your iPhone, you’ll need to import the contact data. Do this by opening Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Import SIM Contacts.
Note that your SIM card slots may differ. If this is the case, then you won’t be able to copy contacts from one phone to another using this method. Do not attempt to insert a SIM card that is not designed for your iPhone — it’s even tougher making a mini SIM from a standard card than it was to make a micro SIM.)
Warning: You Can’t Transfer Your Apps
Migrating contacts was relatively easy; getting your media onto the iOS device might take longer, although iCloud can help. But what about apps?
Well, it’s not good news. Put simply, there is no way to transfer your apps from one platform to another. Before migrating from Windows Phone or Android to iPhone you should spend time looking into whether there are any vital apps you can’t do without on the new platform.
In most cases they will be, but not always. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay for any non-free apps and games again, such is the price of switching ecosystems. Most major services have equivalent mobile apps on a variety of platforms, particularly iOS which often sees new apps before Android or Windows Phone does.
You’ve Migrated: What’s Different?
While mobile ecosystems are largely the same in terms of offering the same type of basic apps (mail, Internet browser, calendar, calculator, app store, and so on) you will find that switching to iOS brings some readjustment to how you do things. For instance, Apple’s Mail app doesn’t do Gmail push, instead relying on the standard POP3 method of inbox send and receive (but the iOS Gmail app will fix that). Fortunely though, while the organization of screens differs, on the whole the transition can be very quick from Android or Windows Phone to iOS.
Despite the differences between the platforms, it is quite straightforward to switch between them. Even if you’re not all that pleased about the switch (perhaps enforced upon you by your employer), you’ll still have the advantage of trying iOS without paying for it; if it’s really all that bad (it isn’t!), why not keep your old phone for personal use?
Have you switched from Android or Windows Phone to iPhone? How did the data migration go? Are you happier with iPhone? Tell us in the comments.