Apple seduces Android users with switch-to-iOS app

As promised, app appears on Google Play Store

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Aimed at Android switchers, Apple's 'Move to iOS' app transfers some of their data and content to an iPhone or iPad.

Apple today made good on a June promise by placing an Android-to-iOS migration app in the Google Play Store.

The app, dubbed "Move to iOS" in Google's app marketplace, first surfaced after the WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) keynote June 8 when Apple mentioned it in its online marketing materials for the upcoming iOS 9.

Apple released iOS 9 today.

Move to iOS assists current Android users -- those with smartphones or tablets -- who switch to an iOS-driven iPhone or iPad by transferring some of the data on the Android device to a new iOS handheld.

The app transfers contacts, message history, camera photos and videos, browser bookmarks, email accounts and calendars, according to the Google Play Store description. Other content, such as apps available on both platforms, are placed in a wish list within iTunes.

"When you choose to migrate your data, your new iPhone or iPad will create a private Wi-Fi network and find your nearby Android device running Move to iOS," the app's copy read.

During setup for the new iPhone or iPad, iOS 9 will offer a security code that must be entered on the Android device to sync the two over the temporary Wi-Fi network.

Apple even displays a message at the conclusion of the process that suggests users dispose of their old Android device at an Apple retail store.

The Cupertino, Calif. company has been trumpeting Android-to-iOS switching since January. In a July call with Wall Street analysts, CEO Tim Cook reiterated that success. "We experienced the highest switcher rate from Android that we've ever measured," Cook said, using the claim to counter talk that the iPhone in general, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus specifically, had little room for growth after a boffo 2014-2015 sales stretch.

Targeting Android device owners is smart, said Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel Comtech, in an earlier interview. "There are users who do not have a smartphone yet and users who have an Android phone. While Apple has been growing the number of first-time users they are attracting, the reality is that the users who remain with a feature phone are not prime Apple customer material," Milanesi said. "This leaves switchers to fuel growth."

The Move to iOS app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

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