The Android to iPhone Ordeal
September 25, 2017 | ~8 mins read time.

Apple made this app called Move to iOS and stuck it in the Google Play store. So I logged into the Google Play store Opera, did all the authentication stuff, and sent it off to install itself on the HTC the moment I decided to give it WiFi again. According to the Google Play store, it was last updated March 21, 2016. The reviews are terrible, but most of them are wondering why anyone would switch from Android to iPhone ever. I explained that a few posts ago. Well, my reasons for it, anyway. I didn’t want to wade through all 50 thousand [not even an exaggeration] negative reviews to see if there was anything legitimate in there. I almost wish I had at this point. It probably would have, sadly, saved me a lot of time.

Move to iOS is Horrible

I stalled for days, as I needed special hand-holding, and he was not available just yet. I’m probably the only person who had an iPhone delivered on Friday, September 22, 2017 and did nothing with it other than taking a few requested photographs. I was ready today. I got the app ready on the Android and waiting for a code to pair over the WiFi network. I connected to the WiFi with the iPhone and tapped to move data from the Android.

This is when I noticed something interesting. The moment I tapped to get the code on the iPhone, and the iPhone immediately dropped the WiFi and switched to LTE network. I put the code in on the Android and it dropped the WiFi network for a split second, and then brought it back up. After about a second, both phones informed me they were preparing for transfer. So far, so good. For about 3 seconds. Suddenly, the iPhone informs me that it’s “Unable to Migrate” and to “Try again later.”

He who decided I was getting a goddamned iPhone was convinced at first that my WiFi network was the problem. Except I’m not so sure about that, and I think at this point, he isn’t either. I tested connectivity on multiple devices. I even went so far as to set the iPhone up as a new phone to test, and the WiFi worked. It wasn’t dropping out on the Android at all. Google led to various places saying to put the Android into airplane mode and to shut off various other settings – none of which worked. I liked how all of these resources assumed that it was the Android’s problem and not the iPhone’s problem. Again, not so sure. This conversation happened:

Him: Do you happen to know somewhere that has amazing wifi?
Me: Yes. Shall I buy a plane ticket now?
Him: Ha.

Moving on to AnyTrans

The Internet then told me about this program called AnyTrans, which looked promising, so I downloaded a trial. After putting my HTC into developer mode and turning a few things on to access pertinent files for transfer, it told me that the source device was empty. It so much was not empty, so it didn’t work for the reason I initially asked if I could try it. I wound up finding a discount code for it and buying it anyway, because it’s useful for other things. Like not having to use iTunes.

However, it was completely useless for transferring settings and apps. I have filed a complaint with them about that.

Manual Transfer Ensues… Gross.

The main reason I wanted to use Move to iOS and subsequently tried AnyTrans, was so I didn’t have to download each and every app individually. The Google Play store is wonderful. You log in and verify your security things [you have those, right?]; find what you want using the quickness and ease of a mouse and keyboard; and then you proceed to send it to your chosen device with a mouse click. The phone does the installing part without even needing to touch it. This means that it would have taken me maybe 10 minutes to choose and send all the apps I wanted if I’d been transferring to another Android and for some reason couldn’t just use Android’s options for moving data from one phone to another.

Apple’s system is ridiculous. You used to have the ability to at least browse apps from iTunes on the desktop, but you can’t anymore. If you happen to find the app via an Internet search, you can open its page in iTunes on the desktop, but you can’t send it to the iPhone via your Apple ID. Clicking merely opens up the app page in the browser again and asks you if you want to open it in iTunes. It’s a useless cycle.

A couple of hours later, I finally had most of the apps I wanted in place and set up. I just need an SSH client and to figure out the best options for Syncthing, which unfortunately does not have an iOS app.

Other Annoying, Time Consuming Issues

  • iTunes cannot handle images properly, and iCloud apparently doesn’t encrypt image or video streams. Thankfully, I can transfer from the iPhone to the PC storage with AnyTrans for now until I figure out Syncthing. I like encryption, and while it’s usually only over my local network, I can use Syncthing to transfer files when I’m away and using foreign WiFi. Must find acceptable solution for this.
  • Being forced to use iTunes intitially to setup an iTunes Library – AnyTrans cannot handle this part of it, but it’s stellar so far at managing files and playlists. So much faster!
  • Cannot import messages from Signal on Android to iPhone.
  • The World Clock does not have comprehensive locations to choose from. I like to have my time and his time available in my phone for quick reference. I have both our times, but I cannot edit the display city. This is, for me, an OCD problem. I don’t like it.
  • Cannot have clock widgets side by side on home screen like this: Clock Widgets in Android
  • Signal appears to ignore any custom contact settings – ringtone and alert sounds. I will be complaining to them about this as well if I can’t solve the problem. Android doesn’t have an issue with this. Interestingly, I can change ringtone and alert sounds from within Signal, and it reflects those changes until I close Signal and reopen it. They don’t reset in the iPhone Contacts settings. Can alter, cannot use. After serveral tests with him while trying to get this to work:
    Me: I give up.
    Him: Sending the phone back?
    Me: As if that's an option.


The only things that have been simple with this transition so far are:

  • contacting T-Mobile to update my IMEI.
  • importing my contacts… because I saved them all to my SIM before taking it out of the HTC and sticking it in the iPhone.

I still can’t stand iOS. Android OS has spoiled me immensely with customisation options. It’s aesthetically pleasing. I can easily connect my device to my computer and deal with music files. Transferring photos with encryption and having them in private, encyrpted places on my hard drive is simple. Everything is so ugly, but hopefully, I’ll be able to do something about that.

I like the camera so far. It takes nice photos with front and back cameras, and that was important to me. iMessage and FaceTime are nice for people not in the US who also have iPhones and who refuse to get Signal. FaceTime voice call quality is also nice, but the lighting ear pod things are not comfortable at all. I have small ears, and they are huge. I’ll be looking for an alternative with a lightning connector, and if I can’t find one, I have a decent set of earbuds and the mini jack adapter.

If I can solve the problem with the world clock, even if I need a third party app to do it, that will make all the things much better. I suspect, however, that I’m not going to get the pretty display options that I had on the HTC.

Apple’s designers need to come forward a decade in terms of design and giving options that Android users are spoiled with. The simple things like customisable widgets for the home screen; the beloved back button; and the ability to intialise apps from Settings while not having to have their icons on the navigation screens. I can guarantee this would coax more people who don’t have someone telling them what they’re going to do over to iPhone because of the privacy and security.

And for the love of fuck’s sake, make it possible to send apps from the Apps Store to the bloody phone from a desktop browser. It’s all controlled by one’s Apple ID and you can find links to all the apps on Apple’s site via Google searches, so there’s no reasonable excuse for the inability to send to phone from the browser. Even if it’s only available upon initial iPhone setup when one is coming from a non-iOS device.

It’s going to take some time to get used to an inferior, annoying OS. I do like taking pictures though, and that should mollify me a bit while I find out whether some of the annoying things are fixable!