In addition to announcing their Apple Music app would be coming to Android, Apple also let us know that they intend to make it as easy as possible for Android users to switch to iOS. The “Move to iOS” app is scheduled to launch later this fall and is detailed on the iOS9 preview page but was not announced on stage at WWDC. The app will migrate contacts, messages, photos, bookmarks, mail accounts and media to your new iOS device and alert you of compatible apps to replace your Android specific applications.
Apple is clearly using the open nature of the play store against Google and Android here and it’s a genius move. Apple would never let Google release an app like this in the app store offering to make moving away from iOS as easy as can be because the app store is a walled garden that only lets in what Apple wants in. The advantages and disadvantages can be debated but this is a smart move on Apple’s part.
After the transfer is complete, the app lets you know it’s okay to stop by an Apple store to “recycle” that old Android device of yours. For Free! How generous! Most people would elect to sell their device on eBay or the much preferable Swappa and put some cash back in their pocket but out of the goodness of their heart Apple will let you toss that device at no cost to you. Will Apple resell the devices? Will they strip them down for the glass, gold and other components? We don’t know but it’s frankly laughable that they expect people to actually give up their older but still valuable devices for free.
This is a change for Apple who barely even acknowledged Android’s existence for years. It’s very obvious that Android’s complete global domination of iOS has some in Cupertino wondering how to get customers to come back. They’ve tried for years to keep people locked into their ecosystem and it looks like now they’ve figured out how to get people out of Android’s ecosystem as easy as possible.
What do you think? Will Apple’s new Move to iOS app actually make a difference in the smartphone wars? Is it something you’d use. Let us know in the comments.