Google seems to be working on a “Switch for Android” app for iOS

Google seems to be working on a “Switch for Android” app for iOS

If you’re jumping ship from Android to iOS, Apple offers an app called Move to iOS on the Google Play Store, allowing you to seamlessly migrate your Android data to an iPhone. But if you want to do the opposite — switch from iOS to Android — Google currently doesn’t have a similar tool on Apple’s App Store. But at last, Google seems to be readying a rival.

An APK teardown can often predict features that may arrive in a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features we mention here may not make it in a future release. This is because these features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by the developers in a future build.

Google recently published an app called the “Data Restore Tool” on Google Play Store, and an update to version 1.0.382048734 contains strings hinting that Google wants to help iPhone users switch to Android. We spotted the following strings in the new update hinting at a new “Switch to Android” app coming to the App Store.

<string name="ios_wifi_hotspot_instructions_first_step">Step 1:</string>
<string name="ios_wifi_hotspot_instructions_first_step_message">Get the <b>Switch to Android</b> app from the App Store®</string>
<string name="ios_wifi_hotspot_instructions_second_step">Step 2:</string>
<string name="ios_wifi_hotspot_instructions_second_step_message">Go to your Wi-Fi settings</string>
<string name="ios_wifi_hotspot_instructions_third_step">Step 3:</string>
<string name="ios_wifi_hotspot_instructions_third_step_message">Connect to network <b>^1</b> and enter password <b>^2</b></string>
<string name="ios_wifi_hotspot_instructions_title">Follow these steps on your iPhone</string>

The strings tell the user to download a “Switch to Android” app from the App Store and then go to Wi-Fi settings on your iPhone to connect to your Android phone using a Wi-Fi hotspot. This is similar to how the Move to iOS app works.

It’s not clear what kind of data users will be able to transfer, but we have found additional strings that suggest that the tool will help you transfer your WhatsApp chats among other things.

<string name="ios_whatsapp_description">Scan the QR code with your iPhone to open WhatsApp, then tap <b>Start</b></string>
<string name="ios_whatsapp_export_description">Keep your iPhone unlocked and WhatsApp open</string>
<string name="ios_whatsapp_export_title">Getting chats ready…</string>
<string name="ios_whatsapp_message">Trouble scanning? On your iPhone, open WhatsApp, then go to <b>Settings > Chats > Move Chats to Android</b></string>
<string name="ios_whatsapp_title">Transfer WhatsApp chats</string>

From what we can tell, it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to actually transfer your WhatsApp chats using the Switch to the Android app itself. Rather the app will only provide helpful instructions on how to migrate WhatsApp data using WhatsApp’s upcoming “Move Chats to Android” feature.

Finally, some strings point to support for migrating supported apps. But it appears this will only work if your iPhone isn’t encrypted.

<string name="fragment_ios_decryption_description">To transfer apps, SMS messages, and contacts, enter your iTunes® backup password</string>
<string name="fragment_ios_device_management_detected_description">"Your iPhone® is managed by your organization and has encrypted content. To transfer apps, iCloud® contacts, device contacts, and iMessage® messages, you’ll need to remove device management on your iPhone®."</string>
<string name="fragment_ios_skip_encrypted_data_dialog_description">Your apps, iCloud® contacts, device contacts, and iMessage® messages won’t transfer</string>

Google currently maintains a page called “Switch to Android” that explains how iPhone users can backup their contacts, photos, videos, and calendar events using the Google Drive app. But it’s not as convenient and seamless as what Apple offers for those moving to iOS. But the Switch to Android app feels like it might finally close this gap.

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