Q: I’m strongly considering a jump from my iPhone to the Samsung Galaxy S III but concerned about getting all my stuff over. Is this an easy thing to do or is it going to be a nightmare? — Glen
A: The smartphone battle has definitely heated up with the release of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III and I’m hearing this from more iPhone users than with any previous Android phone release.
The primary concerns for most users are the apps, music, contacts and photos; the more of these items you have, the more complex it can be.
If you don’t really have any apps or music that you care about, than the transition would be rather painless and quick using an app called ‘Bump’ ( http://bu.mp) that is available for both platforms.
You simply install the app on both phones, select all your contacts or just the ones you want to transfer and then ‘bump’ the phones together to transfer them. It’s very easy to set up and transfer, so this won’t require any real technical skills to execute.
‘Bumping’ your photos takes a little more time because there is no ‘select all’ option, but think of it as an opportunity to get rid of those less desirable photos. One downside to this method is that Bump compresses the photos to transfer them, so if you want them in the original resolution, I’d use Picasa to import them (and any videos you shot) from the iPhone.
Once you have them on your computer, you can decide whether you want to transfer them to the Galaxy S III or just archive them on your computer to keep from filling up your new phone with old photos (you can always upload them to Picasa Web Albums if you want access to them from the S III without taking up storage).
If apps and music are important, it gets a little more complicated.
Since the Galaxy S III is an Android device, the apps that you have on your iPhone won’t transfer so you’ll need to do some homework to see if you have any ‘can’t live without’ apps that aren’t available in Google’s App store ( https://play.google.com).
Most popular free and pay apps are available on both platforms, but in general, you will have to repurchase any apps you already purchased for the iPhone. You can try contacting the app developer to see if they will work with you, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
When it comes to music, the complexity of the transfer will be based on whether you purchased the music from the iTunes Store or transferred the songs from your own CDs.
Any music you transferred (or ripped) from your own CDs can be transfered directly to the S III, but any songs you purchased from the iTunes Store will have copy protection that will require you to take some extra steps to convert the files first.
The free method (and the most time consuming) is to burn the songs to an audio CD (like for an old CD player in your car) then rip them back into your iTunes library.
If your library is too big or you just don’t want to go through all those steps, you can use a program called Sound Taxi ( http://goo.gl/i6ZDj) that will convert the files from the M4P format to a standard MP3 music file.
Once you have your music files converted, you can manually copy them over or use a free app called Easy Phone Tunes ( http://easyphonetunes.com) which makes the transfer process pretty simple as long as your entire music library does not exceed the storage on the S III.
If you don’t want to transfer all of the music, you can transfer the music from any one playlist with the free version or upgrade to the ‘Plus’ version ($2.99) to choose multiple playlists and podcasts.
If you don’t want to buy the Plus version, create a new playlist in iTunes with every song you want to transfer before running the program.
Jumping to a new platform in the computer world is never painless or simple, but it’s certainly much more manageable these days. Just make sure you do your homework before you make the leap!
Ken Colburn is president of Data Doctors Computer Services and host of the Data Doctors Radio Program, noon Saturdays on KTAR 92.3 FM or at www.datadoctors.com/radio. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.