So you’re about to take the leap of faith, switching from the (once) high tech and (still) sleek-looking iPhone and cross over to Android. And why not? A great number of Android-powered devices are cheaper, has more powerful hardware and no limitations to personalize their device.
However, there are certain challenges that some might face when making this switch. For one thing, there are so many Android devices out there for the picking, that finding the right one for you might give you a headache.
Additionally, because of the many choices out there, the method of carrying out a task on one device might be different from another device. We’ll try to cover the more popular and latest devices out there and hope to make your switch a pleasant experience.
Recommended Reading: Migrating From Android to iOS: 10 Most-Asked Questions
Here are the quick links to get to what you want, fast:
- How to transfer contacts / SMS from iPhone
- How to transfer photos / videos from iPhone
- How to share photos and files
- How to transfer bookmarks from Safari
- How to find missing Android devices
- How to transfer apps from iPhone
- Navigating around Android interface
- How to backup and restore data on Android
- Understand custom ROMs and rooting
- Troubleshooting and more!
If you frequently backup your iPhone then all of your contacts should be stored on iCloud. Here’s a detailed guide on how to export your iPhone contacts to your new Android device.
Transferred your contact? Now it’s off to transferring SMS. We also have a detailed guide to help you transfer iPhone SMS to Android. Alternatively, you can use mobile messsaging apps like Whatsapp or Viber as an alternative to traditional SMS.
Transferring media like music, pictures and videos onto your Android device is very simple. All you have to do is connect the Android device to your computer and you’ll be able to view all the files through the "My Computer" of your PC or Finder on your Mac.
If you want to transfer your iPhone photos to your Android device, you’ll first have to transfer it to your PC. Demoing this import from a Windows 8 PC, you can right click on your iPhone from the My Computer and click on Import pictures and videos.
It’ll take a while to search for all your pictures and videos before you can select the folder you want to import to. After that, just drag all your picture and video files in that folder into your Android device.
Alternatively, you can use AirDroid to wirelessly transfer media from your phone to the computer and vice versa (if there is a need).
How do you share photos with another Android user? By default you can share files with another Android phone over Bluetooth. Just tap the share icon and it’ll give you the option to send via Bluetooth together with other sharing methods you can use, including via email, onto Facebook, into third-party sharing tools like Dropbox and messaging tools like ChatON and WhatsApp.
Unfortunately, sharing files over Bluetooth doesn’t work when you want to send the file to an iOS device. In that case, just use an app called Bump. It works across platforms for some clean file-sharing fun.
Some users might find it important to transfer all their bookmarks from the Safari web browser on their iPhone to their new Android device. We’ve featured a full guide on how to do it before and you can refer to that article for more info.
However, if you use Google Chrome on your iPhone, all you have to do is login to Google Chrome on your Android device and all your bookmarks will be synced. All of this too much work for you? Just bookmark all your favorite sites again – you already know them by heart anyways.
Lost your Android device? After your bout of panic, be thankful to know that there are plenty of apps that can track your devices. We’ve covered a list of more than 10 apps that can do this, check it out and download 1 or more of those apps into your phone immediately.
If you think it is too late to download these tracking apps, not to worry, there is an app (or two) in there that can be installed into your phone even after you have lost it.
There is no direct way of transferring any apps from your iPhone to an Android device, you’ll have to download all of it again. Also take note that except for really popular apps, you might not be able to find an Android equivalent of the same app at the Play Store, Google’s own app store, but Android does have widgets.
An Android widget is placed on the home screen and works hand in hand with apps installed on the device. It allows quick access to things you can do on an app such as faster browsing through emails straight on the home screen, without needing to open the email app.
(Image Source: Tested)
You can access the Google Play website from your desktop browser to install apps onto your device. Using the same Google Account used during the setup of your Android device, Google can detect your device and remotely install apps onto your device. Just click on Install.
On the iPhone, the home button takes you out of apps in a single tap; a double tap opens up the multitasking bar. The power button on the top wakes and sleeps the device while holding it down gives you the option to turn it off. It’s all very simple.
On an Android however, there are 3 buttons for navigation and a power button. The power button works similar to the iPhone, no surprise there.
Some phones like the Samsung Galaxy S3 have a Home button as well. On others, it’s an on-screen Home button. The other two also on-screen buttons are the Back Button (an arrow making a U-turn) and an Options button (a two-layer window look but the look differs for some phones).
The home button works similar to the iPhone. Tapping it brings you out of an app to the home screen. Holding down the home button brings up recent apps, and you can switch between the apps from there. As for app options or settings, you wouldn’t find a gear icon, so bring up those menus with the Options button.
You also won’t find any back buttons on screen (like on the iPhone) when scrolling through multiple levels of menus, this is how the Android back button is used.
As you might know by now, using an Android device requires you to use a Google account. The good thing about it is that Google will automatically sync and backup important information like contacts, calendars and even downloaded apps all to the cloud. Take note that Google remembers apps you have downloaded but not the saved data within each app.
Therefore, you should get a backup app that helps you restore data within each app. One of the newer, and more popular powerful apps you’ll find for backing up your mobile data is Carbon – App Sync and Backup. It’s a well-made app that is easy to setup and use.
After installing the app on your device, you’ll have to download and install the Carbon desktop app on your PC. Connect your Android device to your computer to fully enable Carbon on your device. You can now save your app data and settings by just selecting the apps and then tapping on Backup.
Other than app data, Carbon will also backup and restore SMS, Call Logs and even the way you arrange your icons!
You might have heard advanced Android users talking about custom ROMs and throwing the word ‘rooting’ about, very often. As an average user though, it is fine to be oblivious to this.
Custom ROMs are basically custom firmware built by third-party developers. These firmwares are sometimes better than what’s pre-installed on an Android device and gives you a workaround to the limitations set on the pre-installed ROMs. That’s the allure behind it. What is not is that after you have one on, there is no stopping developers from never updating the firmware. You can move on to another custom ROM but only if you really have the time.
Rooting on the other hand gives you access to the hidden settings that enable hardware tweaking for your Android device. It also lets you remove stock features on the phone and you can and further customize it at a firmware level (again, this is more suited for an advanced user).
The original manufacturer normally disables these advance features for the safety of their users, as playing with these tweaks might make your device go haywire if you’re not sure of what you are doing.
Our final tip will cover basic but essential things to help you fully utilize and enjoy your Android experience.
How To Enable Lockscreen Security
There are many options for securing your phone. Look for it under the Settings of your phone and then look for Lock Screen. You can use your face, voice, 3×3 dot pattern, 4-digit pin and alphanumerical passwords to lock the screen under.
How To Reboot Unresponsive Android
Android with its powerful hardware still can freeze up or hang when running a badly programmed app (or an intense game of Temple Run 2 with multiple apps running in the background). When this happens, the first thing you should try is to hold down the power button until the screen goes black. Release and turn it on again like how you normally would.
On some phones, this is both the Power and the Volume Down button. Try this if the Power button method doesn’t work. Alternatively, if your Android phone has a removable battery, you can just remove that to restart it. This is not the "healthiest’ way to do it, but when push comes to shove, remove that battery.
How To Take Screenshots
For Android devices 4.0 and above, you can hold the Power button and Home button down together. It doesn’t matter if your device has a physical or capacitive home button, it would still take the screenshot. You’ll know the screenshot is taken if you hear a shutter click.
If the first method doesn’t work, try it with the Power button and Volume Down button together. For devices like the Samsung Galaxy S3, when the ‘Hand Motion’ function is enabled, you can take a screenshot just by swiping the edge of your open palm across the screen. A brief screen flash and the shutter click sound later, your screenshot has been taken.
Customizing Android Home Screen
To add a widget, go to your list of downloaded widgets, tap the one you want and hold it down until you see your Home screen. Release the widget once you’ve found the perfect spot for it in any of your five home screens. To remove one from the home screen just long-press on the widget and move it to the trash can icon to remove it. The same applies to apps.
You can also download launchers from the Google Play store to further customize your home screen. Launchers allow you to set the amount of apps that can fit in a row or column and the ability change all the app icons.
Not loving the look of your Android home screen? No worries, you can customize the home screen to your heart’s content, and this doesn’t just mean wallpapers, live or not. Customization on an Android device is almost limitless as you can see from these beautiful self-designed home screens. Without much work, you can change the entire layout and all the app icons of your Android device.