How to: Switch from Apple to Samsung, or the other way around

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Early each year we get new Samsung flagships, only to have Apple try to outdo them in the latter half of the year. Each company tries to leapfrog the other in terms of specifications and features in hopes not only of keeping the faithful, well, faithful but in the hopes of winning converts from the opposing camps.

The main obstacle to switching from team Android to team iOS is the perceived hassle of doing so. But fear not, we’re here to help. Whether you’ve decided to abandon Apple’s walled garden for Samsung’s curved-edge displays and mastery of low-light photography, or you’re tired of Android, invested in AirPlay speakers and are considering putting an Apple sticker on your bumper, this is how to get started.

Getting started

All smooth processes begin with very diligent preparation. So, get out your tools, set them out on the workbench, and… go!

Step one is something you should be doing regularly in case your phone unexpectedly disappears from your pocket or meets an untimely demise at the bottom of a staircase — backup your data. You can back it up to a hard-drive, but even easier is using a cloud service so you can then pull it down to either Apple or Samsung devices.

Next, whether you’re using Apple or Samsung devices, upload all of your contacts to Gmail/Google to avoid disappointment (and an embarrassing conversation with your Mom where you have to ask her for her number because you’ve lost it).You should probably consider backing up photos from the old (or other) device to Google Photos. You can store unlimited (albeit slight compressed) photos for free, or buy a storage plan to upload everything at full size. If your precious memories are saved to an iCloud account (Apple guys), you can simply sync that account with a Google Photos account.

Next up, backup important documents, files and anything else on your device you don’t want to lose (like that killer collection of cat memes) to Dropbox, Box, Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive. Doing so will make it easy to get them on your new device, or any other device you get down the line.

Last, you should check that any essential/unusual apps you use are available on the platform you’re planning to switch to. This used to be more of a problem a few years back when lots of apps would launch for iOS first and leave Android users hanging, but these days almost every big-name app is available for both.

Switching from iOS to Android

Changing to a new phone, never mind one with a different operating system, used to be a pain. And consumers don’t like pain. Which is why the leading smartphone brands have all tried to make the dreaded “switch” as painless as possible. In the case of the reigning Android champ, that means Samsung Smart Switch.

This app gives you the capability to easily move data from any device to your new Samsung device. Simply download the Smart Switch app on the old device, and connect it with your new Samsung. There are three methods that you can choose from, each of which will let you transfer apps (only Android to Android), music, and contacts.

Transfer content directly from your old phone wirelessly: Connect the devices through the Smart Switch app (both devices need to have the app).

Transfer content directly from your old phone via USB cable: The recent Samsung Galaxy devices come prepared with a USB-A to USB-C converter in the box. This converter can be used to connect the old device to the new device. Just choose which data you would like to transfer on-screen, and voila! You’re good to go.

Transfer content from a PC or Mac to your new Galaxy phone: For this one you need to download the Smart Switch app on your Windows PC or Mac. Just select all the data you would like to transfer to your personal computer, and download it to the new device.

If your old device isn’t compatible with Smart Switch, you can also use Samsung Kies software to restore an iPhone backup (even SMS messages) to a Samsung smartphone.

Whatever method you choose to use, don’t forget to turn iMessage off before making the switch. Leaving it on could result in SMSes still going to your old iPhone. If you no longer have the phone, you can also disconnect iMessage from the device here.

Switching from Android to iOS

The tables have turned, and you decided that you would like to join the iPhone gang. No probs, we’ve got you covered fam. It is a bit more in-depth and has a few more restrictions — but there’s an app for this too.

Move to iOS, is the iPhone version of Smart Switch, but there are a few hurdles you’ll need to jump over to get going.

There are also a few more steps — seven to be exact, but here’s a short breakdown:

Move Data from Android: When setting up a new iPhone, find the Apps & Data screen and tap “Move Data from Android”. Open the “Move to iOS” app on your Android device and follow the prompts until you encounter the “Find Your Code” screen.

Find and enter the code: On the new iPhone, tap “Continue”, and wait for a ten-digit or six-digit code to appear. Enter this code on the Android device. Then wait for the “Transfer Data” screen to appear.

What do you want to transfer? Time to select the data that you want to transfer — leave both devices alone until the transfer is completed. The whole process can take a while, depending on how much content you’re transferring. Just go through the remainder of the set-up and hey presto! You’ve officially moved over to the dark side (or the light side, depending on your allegiance).You will be able to transfer anything from contacts, message history, camera photos and videos and web bookmarks, to mail accounts and calendars. In terms of apps, you would need to re-download them from the App Store (if they are available on iOS) and sign in again.

You’re ready, young Padawan

Now you’re set to venture into the world with your new device. Keep in mind that Android and iOS are two completely different operating systems, which means that some functionality and features will differ. If you’re moving from Android, welcome to the world of 3D Touch. If you’ve ditched Apple, say hello to home screen widgets. You’ll get the hang of it, we believe in you.

Samsung and Apple try to make it as user-friendly as possible when moving to one of their devices and both have many resources online to aid in your switching process. Don’t panic… just follow the prompts.

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Deputy Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.

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