Moving all contacts from an Android to an iPhone may sound complicated, but it’s actually really easy. What you’ll need to do is sync the entire address book from the Android device to Google’s cloud Contacts service, and then use Google Contacts service to transfer them to the iPhone. The result is that you’ll have the same contact list synced between both devices, which is great for permanent migration and transferring the contacts over to iOS, but also for temporary transitions between the two mobile operating systems.
Requirements are simple enough: you’ll need access to the Android device and an iPhone. You will also need a Google account to be able to do this, which if you have an Android phone you almost certainly already have a google login. Nonetheless, if you don’t you can create one during the process to sync all the contact information to, which can then be retrieved from iOS. We’re focusing on Android smartphones and the iPhone, but this process would work the same with Android tablets and the iPad or iPod touch too.
Step 1: Sync the Android Contacts to Google Contacts
This step is done from the Android, and will transfer the contacts from the Android to Google:
- Open Settings, then go to “Accounts & Sync”, and ten tap on the Google account (side note: if you don’t have a Google account, tap on “Add Account” to set up a new one for this purpose)
- Tap on “Sync Contacts” (or Sync All if you want to sync everything) and let the syncing process complete, this may take a few minutes if you have a very large address book
Now that the contacts have been synced between Android phone to Google’s servers, you can now sync the same contacts from Google to the iPhone.
Step 2: Sync the Google Contacts to the iPhone
This is done from the iPhone, and will transfer the contacts from Google to the iPhone:
- Open “Settings” then go to “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” and choose “Add Account”
- Select “Other” and look under “Contacts” to choose “Add CardDav Account”
- Enter the following details into the fields, then tap “Next”
- Server: google.com
- User Name: email@example.com
- Password: your password
- Syncing starts immediately, exit out of Settings and launch the “Contacts” app to check on the progress, the entire process may take a while for large address books
That’s really all there is to it, it works the same on all versions of iOS and has been tested in both iOS 6 and iOS 7.
If you run into any syncing issues on the iPhone, go back into Settings for Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and check to be sure that the account syncing settings are configured to use SSL with port 443. This usually happens by default with auto detection, but it’s not unheard of for those settings to not set themselves properly.
Because the iPhone and Android are now synced to the same Google Contacts service, any changes on either device will sync over to the other, preventing you from having to make changes to each device unless one has been disconnected. This means the same trick can be used to move contacts back from the iPhone to Android, though there are other ways to do that as well, including using the very handy iCloud Contacts exporter service, or for just sharing individual contacts as a Vcard. Finally, if you’re an OS X user you can also sync everything else, like mail, calendars, and even notes between a Mac and Android too.