Apple could soon make swapping from iPhone to Android a lot easier — here's why

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs iPhone 15 Pro Max.
(Image credit: Future)

Apple has seemingly confirmed it's going to simplify switching from iPhone to Android, along with opening up other parts of its walled garden, in order to comply with new EU legislation.

As Apple states on pages 10-11 of its Non-Confidential Summary of DMA Compliance Report (via The Verge), it "plans to make further changes to its user data portability offering." 

"Apple is developing a solution that helps mobile operating system providers develop more user-friendly solutions to transfer data from an iPhone to a non-Apple phone. Apple aims to make this solution available by fall 2025."

This section of the summary also notes the existence of other cross-OS data transfer systems, likely hinting at apps like Switch to Android, published by Google to make the iPhone to Android move easier. However, since this app doesn't transfer everything, leaving behind key items like text messages and paid apps, there's clearly room for growth. And hopefully that's exactly what Apple's talking about in the above quote, even if it may take over a year to appear.

Opening the gate to the walled garden

The full document explains the various ways that Apple plans to meet the demands of the EU's new Digital Markets Act (DMA), a newly-introduced law intended to stop the tech market from being dominated by giant companies such as Apple. This includes alternative app stores, the ability to use log-in methods other than Sign in with Apple, and easier data transfer from Safari to other browsers, plus the option to uninstall Safari altogether.

Apple's summary does not indicate whether these will be global changes, or just ones that apply to EU iPhone users. Going by how Apple's iOS 17.4 betas have kept alternative app stores an EU-only option, it feels like most, if not all of these polices will be Europe-specific, which could leave U.S. and other iPhone users around the world deprived of some rather useful features.

We'll keep an eye out for further news of these changes to the iPhone experience as the Digital Markets Act becomes more established. In the meantime, you may want to read more about iOS 18, the expected next major iPhone software update that could include further DMA-inspired changes, as well as rumored big AI upgrades.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.

  • CenturyLane
    The only reason I'm still on Apple products is because of the backup/restore feature. If Android would let me plug it in, hit one button and back up or restore my phones and tablets to any android phone I'd move my entire family before the sun sets today.
    Reply