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Switching from iPhone to Samsung: What you need to know

Once leaders in the field, Apple have met a chief rival in Samsung, with many long-term iPhone users now making the switch. Switching from iPhone to Samsung can be a bit of a faff to begin with – especially as the two smartphone industry leaders never seem to be that interested in cooperating with each other.

It can be daunting to leave the in-the-box functionality of an iPhone behind. But in doing so, a world of fresh new possibilities is open to you. Let’s take a look at some of the questions that come up in making the switch from iPhone to Samsung.

How do I transfer my iPhone contacts to Samsung?

Perhaps no aspect of getting a new phone is as off-putting as the thought of having to transfer all your contacts across.

The simplest way to transfer contacts from your iPhone to a Samsung phone is to use a dedicated app. If you have under 500 contacts you can transfer them for free with the MCBackup app for Android. Those big hitters with over 500 contacts can transfer them for a small in-app fee.

You can also transfer contacts by exporting them to email, or a cloud account like Dropbox, and importing them via the Gmail app. You’ll need to make sure your Gmail account is synced to your new phone to do this.

If you have iMessage running you will need to disable it to ensure that all text messages are sent to your phone number rather than getting lost in Apple’s databanks.

Where’s my FaceTime?

There’s no doubting that one of the drawbacks of Samsung phones for video chat fans is that FaceTime is no longer built in to your dialler.

However, there are lots of decent video chat replacements such as Skype and Google hangouts with the added bonus that Hangouts offers multiple video chats at once. Swings and roundabouts…

Can you get Siri on Samsung?

For those of you enamoured with Siri, fear not. There are a couple of cracking AI assistants available on Samsung phones that are equal or rival to Apple’s AI interface.

Google Assistant has neat features such as the ability to forge auto-responses to messages receive based on your previous replies.

The Assistant can be activated by touch or by speaking the command “OK Google”. As with Siri it can perform task such as informing you if it’s going to rain, setting an alarm to go off in 35 minutes, or telling a joke.

Google Assistant is pretty good at detecting natural language patterns and asks follow up questions about the topic you are querying.

Bixby Assistant

Galaxy S8 and S8+ users also have the option of Bixby Assistant. This is Samsung’s strong contender to both Siri and Google Assistant.

It can control full functionality of any Bixby-enabled app, uses the current status of your phone to contextualise commands, and has high levels of “cognitive tolerance” by which it can detect natural speech patterns and infer meaning from context.

Charging ahead

Galaxy S8 users have the option of purchasing a Samsung wireless charger. Simply place your device on the base and it will charge to full power in 2 hours. Alternatively, using the Samsung charger cable will shave off half an hour, providing full power within 90 minutes.

App Store vs Google Play Store

Google Play works in much the same way as the App Store on the iPhone. A big difference is that there are many more free apps available to Android users. People who have made the switch from Apple to Android have generally found equivalent or better versions of most apps available on iPhone.

As well as sourcing apps, Google Play can be used to download music, film and eBooks.

File system access

With Android-based Samsung phones you can explore the file system of your device more like a computer than the one-size fits all proprietary confines of Apple.

Search for “file explorer” in the Play store and you’ll find lots of options. ES File Explorer comes highly recommended.

The great thing about switching to Samsung is that, as with all Android devices, if you don’t like something you can almost always change it.

You can also fully customise your app display with an app like Nova Launcher which lets you add widgets to your home screen. This means you can, for example, check your text messages without having to open up your messaging app. Pretty handy.


The Galaxy S7 has a solid state home key and the S8 and S8+ have a software navigation bar, but both work in the same way.

To the right of the home button is a back key which is very handy. To the left of the home key is a button to access recent apps, and features a rather ingenious multitasking functionality to display two apps on screen at once.

S8 vs iPhone 7

For a long time, Apple lead the design revolution when it came to smartphones. Now it is perfectly arguable that Samsung have won this crown. The design of the S8 and S8+ is simply breathtaking, with its curved Infinity Screen encompassing 90% of the phone’s frontage.

The unit fits really nicely in the hand due to it’s smooth edges that merge seamlessly with the aluminium chassis.

The S8’s Super AMOLED display knocks the iPhone’s LCD screen off the road, delivering a whopping 2960 x 1440 pixels per inch. That’s all backed up with a Gorilla Glass 5 shatter resistant screen that’s fairly robust (though the replaceable glass on the rear is far more susceptible).

The new screen has pushed the physical home button to the back of the device. The screen features a software version of the navigation panel complete with haptic engine to ensure a tactile user experience.

Though some may bemoan this change, the S8 is equipped with state of the art iris scanning and facial recognition tech which is far more secure, not to mention much faster, than fingerprint ID access.


The S8 and S8+ has a 12 MP rear facing camera with autofocus and an 8mp front facing camera. Samsung still lacks the light temperature sensitive flash of the iPhone 7, relying on a fixed LED flash, but the software under the hood creates really great looking images. The camera is easily accessed with a quick double tap of the home button or a swipe form the lock screen. Swipe down in the app to access selfie-mode, or hold and swipe up to zoom in. It all makes for a very intuitive user experience.

We hope we’ve shown that, in making the switch from iPhone to Samsung, not only is there nothing to fear, before long you’ll be smirking at Apple users and wondering what all the fuss was about.

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