Why is it so hard to migrate data from old to new Android phones (in comparison to iPhone)?

biggles

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Earlier this year my wife upgraded her iPhone 6s to an iPhone 11. During the new device setup it asked if she had an existing device. We followed the instructions and within 30 minutes it had copied everything exactly to the 11. So easy!

Now, I am trying to help a family member upgrade from a Moto X to a Moto G7 Power. And we cannot get the text message history and call log to transfer after many hours of work.
1. He called Verizon support to do it, they failed. On the bright side, at least they managed to get his pictures and videos transferred.
2. He pays $5 a month for Verizon cloud. So we tried doing a backup from old device and restore to new device. Failed.
3. We tried using SMS backup and restore along with Google Drive. But on the old phone the app says there are only 85 calls to backup, when in truth there are tons more (call logs date back to 2011). I was surprised this process did not work, this is the procedure I have been using on my Android phones and it has worked fine before this.

Is there a way to manually copy a call log file from the old Moto X, to PC, to Moto G7 Power? I am thinking connect old phone with micro usb cable to PC, use file explorer to copy file to PC hard drive, and copy this file to Moto G7 Power.
 

Aurelius

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I know Google has some degree of device backup, but it's not super-comprehensive. Here's a guide that might help, including some third-party options.

As for the inconsistency? To some degree, I think it's inherent to Android's model. You have a ton of vendors that aren't even obligated to be consistent within their own software layers, let alone with other manufacturers. Google sync does make some things easy, of course, but it doesn't fix everything. Apple has an advantage in that it controls the entire iOS hardware and software ecosystem, so it can virtually guarantee smooth migrations. It's one of the reasons why I use an iPhone as my main device... so long as I have it backed up in iCloud or on my computer, I know I can upgrade or replace my phone knowing everything will be back.
 

biggles

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Is there a good video showing the SMS and call log backup and restore using SMS backup and restore? Or any other similar app? The process did not work for my family member's Moto G7 Power along with Google Drive. This person is not tech savvy and lives across the country. Perhaps if I could show him a video where he follows the steps exactly it would work. The Android Central link above would be complex and confusing for him.
 

Aurelius

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Is there a good video showing the SMS and call log backup and restore using SMS backup and restore? Or any other similar app? The process did not work for my family member's Moto G7 Power along with Google Drive. This person is not tech savvy and lives across the country. Perhaps if I could show him a video where he follows the steps exactly it would work. The Android Central link above would be complex and confusing for him.

I wouldn't be the best qualified to offer help on that front, I'm afraid. Maybe if you could use a screen sharing app and guide them through it from your own phone.
 

Vermillion

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It all depends on what Cloud service you're tied into and if the apps being used properly tie into that cloud service. For example I can use LG, Samsung, Pixel, or Moto and because I only use the Google apps all my data just transfers between devices because the Google apps properly back up the data to my Google account. However, if you're tied into a random companies cloud environment and their apps you can't easily transfer that to something else.
 

marshac

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We used to be android only - prior to that was windows mobile. I enjoyed installing custom ROMs, new kernels, overclocking, etc. Eventually though as my life got busier, married, kids, etc I got more and more irritated with the little things that I shouldn't *have* to deal with - data migration, SMS backup restoration, etc. Every phone upgrade (1-2 times per year) became more and more frustrating. Same shit each time. Meanwhile I saw how seamless Apple was in their ecosystem... it just worked. We have since switched. My comptuer is Windows, I have a Chromebook, and Google Home/Smartthings is our smarthome platform.... but the phones? iPhones. I can receive texts and facetimes from my daughter, my kids can easily call their grandparents, I can see where they're at in the neighborhood with their iWatches, etc. The shit just all works. Some of my favorite videos were taken with my Evo 3D, and I still look fondly back on the unlocking days, but I just don't have time now. I wish I had SMS on my desktop or chromebook, etc, but the ease of use and the "it just works" is too much to pass up.

I'll note that if you're staying within a single vendor such as Samsung, switching phones is fairly easy - they always include a cable and USB adapter, but if you want to wander away to something like Oppo? Have fun. I'm surprised Moto isn't a similar experience - have you checked the app store for a moto migration app similar to what Samsung has? Our last phones were Samsung, and I still have a S9+, but their quick EOL of products started to piss me off. Apple seems to support their phones forever. New iOS? It's available the same day - a problem Google has been trying to fix forever.
 

warhol76

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I have always found the android experience to be frustrating at best when migrating. It is true that when migrating between Samsung phones, it is easier. But, nothing like the IOS experience. I have an S10+ and an IPad pro. migrating the ipad is easy as pie. Migrating and setting up the android phone is a couple of days at best. I switched from an S8+ in January. I continue to be frustrated that it hasn't gotten better over the years. I strongly considered switching to iphone as well. I just couldn't pull the trigger on the price on the iphone with the bigger screen. THis is one of android's biggest downfalls.

Sorry I don't have much advice. I know there are third party apps that might help. But, many of them need root access and that isn't easy either.
 

DWolvin

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SMS backup and restore is good, there are plenty of videos out... But try the oneplus switch if it will install on teh new device. I transferred my data the old fashioned way on the Wife's phone, and then figured I'd try oneplus switch on mine since I didn't care. About 10 or 15 minutes (I wasn't standing over it), and eveything moved. SMS history, manually added contacts, photos, programs with local data...
 

DWolvin

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I havent been on Verizon for a very long time, so I forgot how different they are. And I missed that he pays for useless cloud backup- if it doesn't work I'd demand a refund. But good luck with the Verizon Content Transfer!
 

che

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I have found that with pixel devices it is extremely simple. I've never found it difficult to have everything transfer over. Things are either backed up on the cloud, or when starting a new pixel phone it prompts you to connect the cable to the old phone and it transfers everything flawlessly. Even when I had to factory reset my pixel 3, it rebooted, I entered my Google ID and password, and it restored all my text, Wi-Fi password, apps, etc..

Now, the last non pixel phone I have owned was my Galaxy S5. Back then it was tough. I would use SMS backup and restore and have to move things from SD card, etc...
 
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We used to be android only - prior to that was windows mobile. I enjoyed installing custom ROMs, new kernels, overclocking, etc. Eventually though as my life got busier, married, kids, etc I got more and more irritated with the little things that I shouldn't *have* to deal with - data migration, SMS backup restoration, etc. Every phone upgrade (1-2 times per year) became more and more frustrating. Same shit each time. Meanwhile I saw how seamless Apple was in their ecosystem... it just worked. We have since switched. My comptuer is Windows, I have a Chromebook, and Google Home/Smartthings is our smarthome platform.... but the phones? iPhones. I can receive texts and facetimes from my daughter, my kids can easily call their grandparents, I can see where they're at in the neighborhood with their iWatches, etc. The shit just all works. Some of my favorite videos were taken with my Evo 3D, and I still look fondly back on the unlocking days, but I just don't have time now. I wish I had SMS on my desktop or chromebook, etc, but the ease of use and the "it just works" is too much to pass up.

I'll note that if you're staying within a single vendor such as Samsung, switching phones is fairly easy - they always include a cable and USB adapter, but if you want to wander away to something like Oppo? Have fun. I'm surprised Moto isn't a similar experience - have you checked the app store for a moto migration app similar to what Samsung has? Our last phones were Samsung, and I still have a S9+, but their quick EOL of products started to piss me off. Apple seems to support their phones forever. New iOS? It's available the same day - a problem Google has been trying to fix forever.
Agreed, As i got older it has become less and less for me to customize my phone and installing Roms. Thats why i have been an iphone user for 3 years now. it just works.
 

Aurelius

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Agreed, As i got older it has become less and less for me to customize my phone and installing Roms. Thats why i have been an iphone user for 3 years now. it just works.

As I like to put it: Android is the most appealing for people who like to do things to their phones, while iOS is for those who like to do things with their phones.

Clearly that's not uniformly true (you may like Android phones for the hardware, or for specific apps iOS can't handle), but I've noticed that Android diehards are often the ones who claim they can't live without installing custom firmware or a third-party launcher, and must have their home screen a particular way or their heads will explode. Like they'd rather spend their Friday night setting up LineageOS than romancing their partner.

It reminds me of that adage "Linux is only free if your time is worthless." Not to disparage tinkerers as such -- just that many people would rather get to using their phones than spend time fretting over ROMs and launchers. That's especially true as you develop relationships and families... it can be hard to even find the time to tinker with your phone, let alone the inclination to choose that over spending more time with people you love.
 

biggles

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Update: after 6 calls and about 10 hours of work over the past month, we managed to get all of the text messages transferred and 8 months of the call log (so he lost about 8 years of call logs). The family member has a job in healthcare, has a special needs child, and has a wife with MS, so he just does not have any more time to devote to this. So he decided to live with this as being "good enough." We used the Verizon Contact Transfer app I linked in the May 14 post above to get this data onto the Moto G7 Power.

I recommended that the family member switch to Consumer Cellular later this year. They seem to do a better job helping older, non-tech folks with issues like this. And they are much cheaper than Verizon.
 

Aurelius

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Update: after 6 calls and about 10 hours of work over the past month, we managed to get all of the text messages transferred and 8 months of the call log (so he lost about 8 years of call logs). The family member has a job in healthcare, has a special needs child, and has a wife with MS, so he just does not have any more time to devote to this. So he decided to live with this as being "good enough." We used the Verizon Contact Transfer app I linked in the May 14 post above to get this data onto the Moto G7 Power.

I recommended that the family member switch to Consumer Cellular later this year. They seem to do a better job helping older, non-tech folks with issues like this. And they are much cheaper than Verizon.

Oof, that's rough. I'm glad you got all the texts and enough of a call log to work with, but you'd hope that it would be more elegant than this.
 

The Mad Atheist

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Moved from a Galaxy J3 Prime to a Redmi Note 9s and trying to port over my game save data from Final Fantasy Tactics.
 

kirbyrj

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I don't know. I never had a problem moving from Pixel phone to new Pixel phone using the transfer app.
 

Ebernanut

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I was surprised at how easy and well it worked when I transferred everything over from my ancient verizon branded motorola phone(razr maxx on jelly bean) to a sprint branded s10 last fall. Like the above poster I just plugged them into each other using the adapter and followed the prompts that came up.

The list of supported phones was long but didn't seem to include some phones or brands so I would say it's one those situations where the amount of android phones out there makes it difficult to support all of them and of course some manufacturers do a better job than others. It might be interesting to compare some of the flagship android phiones like pixel and s series along with iphones to see which support the highest number of phones for easy transfer of everything.
 

cjcox

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An iPhone is "owned" end to end by Apple. So, you would expect absolute perfection there (zero variables). If it's not absolute perfection, I'd be surprised.
 
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