android vs apple 640x324As the HTC One M8 and the Galaxy S5 hit the market, some of you may see a good opportunity to switch from iOS to Android. Interestingly, when we talk to prospect switchers, the question that we get the most is how to go from  iPhone to Android without losing the iPhone’s contacts? Fortunately, we have some step-by-step solutions for you.

Despite the fact that these two mobile operating systems are two different worlds, there are multiple ways to transfer your data from one device to another. And trust me, it is a piece of cake. In most methods you will meet VFC. VFC or vCards is a file format standard for electronic business cards. vCards are often attached to e-mails and  instant messaging apps. They can contain pretty much anything, including names, addresses and phone numbers.

Method 1 – Manually (for small lists)

iphone ios share contact via emailIn case you want to move specific contacts only, you can use the Share Contact option. Open up the contacts up and select the contact you wish to save. Swipe down and select the tab, which allows you to either share it via e-mail or text.

If the number of contacts you want exceed ten, then this obviously is not your place to go. But if it is below that number, there is no need for using the methods below.

Method 2 – iCloud

The second way to accomplish transferring your contacts from your iPhone to your Android device is by simply using Apple’s cloud system.

icloud home page

icloud contacts export

  1. Head up to iCloud.com via your computer.
  2. Select the contacts that you want to export
    1. either one by one
    2. or click on the gear and use Select All
  3. Click the gear again and select Export vCard. Your computer will download a VCF file containing the selected contacts. The name of the file will be explicit as for how many contacts were exported
  4. Plug your Android phone to the computer, copy the VCF file to the local storage and import the contacts from the Contacts or People app.

Both Contacts and People applications feature an option that allows you to add contacts from various sources. Since you saved it to your SD card, you will select the Import from storage source.

Method 3 – via an App

Quoting the iPhone 3G commercial back in 2009; “there is an app for that”. We found two apps that might be useful for this procedure. And no, your computer does not need to be consulted. In this example, we will use the My Contacts Backup app, but there are other options out there.

my contacts backup app

  1. Download and launch the app on your iPhone.
  2. When the app (“MCBackup”) asks to access your contacts, tap OK
  3. Tap Backup
  4. Tap email, attach the VCF file to an email and send it to your Gmail account.
  5. Open up the email from your Android device, download the VCF file and import your contacts to the phone.

As demonstrated by the image below, the VCF file allows you to either select specific contacts to import to your list, or add the entire address book with the Add All X Contacts tab.

Method 4 – Import into GMail

In case your world revolves around Google’s ecosystem, there actually is a way to transfer your contacts via GMail. It’s pretty simple. Following method #2:

  1. Head up to iCloud.com via your computer.
  2. Select the contacts you want to save.
  3. If you want to save the entire list, click the little gear button at the lower left and Select All.
  4. Click the gear icon and select Export vCard (see method #2).
  5. Your computer will download a VCF file containing the exported contacts.

Then

  1. Log in to your Google account.
  2. Click on the Gmail logo, located at the top left corner of your dashboard.

  3. Select contacts
  4. Click the “More” dropdown menu in Contacts, and select Import.

  5. Click Import again. The contacts will be automatically synced to your Android device(s), connected to this account.

import iphone contacts to gmail 1

import iphone contacts to gmail 2

Method 5 – Export contacts to GMail with iTunes

If your iPhone is running iOS 4.x and lower, then the rest methods are practically redundant, since apps are not compatible with that version of iOS and iCloud did not exist back then. I know, iTunes can cause frustration sometimes, but it’s the only way out in some occasions. It is as easy as the other methods, and it definitely gets the job done.

  1. Download and launch iTunes.
  2. Connect your iPhone to the computer.
  3. Open the handset’s device summary page.
  4. Click the Info tab.
  5. Check “Sync Contacts With” and then select “Google Contacts”.
  6. Type your Google account’s username and password.

  7. Click Apply.

  8. Make sure your Android device is connected to the particular GMail account.

  9. Allow Google to sync your contacts to your Android phone.

Conclusion

We hope this tutorial helped you set up your new Android device or at least showed you that however big, your contact list should not prevent you from getting the phone you want. When I did this back in 2010 for the first time I had to go through such an ordeal. As years go by, new apps and services surface that make our life easier. In case you have any questions, need any help or want to add something to this article, sound off in the comments below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

If you have an even easier way to do this, please post a comment. We can’t review every single import/export apps, but if there’s something that is exceptionally easy, we want to hear about it!

Filed in Cellphones. Read more about Android and iOS.

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