Moving from one Android phone to another, even if it's made by a different manufacturer, is usually easy. With the help of an app that's installed on both devices, users can transfer apps, music, photos and contacts without too much trouble.
When moving from an iPhone to an Android phone, however, the process is rarely so smooth. Up to now, iPhone users' best approach was to upload their contacts, SMS messages and photos to Google Drive and then copy the contents from there to their new handset.
But a new app, seemingly under development at Google right now, could soon provide a remedy and more options when moving from iOS to Android. Perhaps it will even reverse the flow of defectors from Google's platform to Apple's.
9to5Google has spotted references to a Switch to Android app in the latest version (1.0.382048734) of the official Data Restore Tool for Android. This will be available on Apple's own App Store, according to the hidden instructions.
"Step 1," the code reads. "Get the Switch to Android app from the App Store."
Searching for an app of that name on the App Store right now produces nothing even slightly related to the subject. Instead, 9to5Google believes this refers to an app currently under development at Google, with the caveat that "Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect."
The site thinks it can tell how the app will work from the subsequent instructions in the code (which itself suggests the app must be at a relatively advanced stage of development). You will able to set up a WLAN network using the new Switch to Android app. The data recovery tool must then be installed on the new Android smartphone. Once the apps have been started up on the old iOS device and the new Android phone, the data is copied directly via the Wi-Fi network established by the Android device.
In addition to contacts, SMS and photos, the new app could also make it easier to move apps. According to the source code, the software could compare the list of apps installed on the iOS device with the Play Store and, if the apps are available for free, install them on the Android phone.
It's unclear when the new app will become available. We haven't yet heard any official announcement from Google on the subject.
If you're interested in migration between mobile platforms, you may enjoy the latest Different Think column, in which Karen Haslam argues that Apple is letting down ex-Android users with its restrictive charger policy.
This article originally appeared on Macwelt. Translation and additional reporting by David Price.