How to Completely Abandon Apple
Apple never stops giving us reasons to say goodbye. iOS 11 is bloody buggy , with the latter making the iPhone nearly unusable, and the latest version of macOS briefly exposing Mac owners to a major vulnerability . As for the iPhone X, it may be pretty sleek for the iPhone, but Apple is still catching up with its Android rivals .
If you’re serious about ditching some (or all) of Apple’s products, you’re definitely not alone , but it’s easier said than done. Cupertino has done such a good job of paving its way into all aspects of our digital life that weaning ourselves from its ecosystem of products is a pretty big deal.
With this in mind, we have scoured the Internet for tips, tricks and guides to remove ourselves from all Apple apps, services and products. Ready? Let’s start.
Replace your iPhone with an Android device
Okay, let’s start with the big one. If you’re considering leaving Apple, your iPhone is likely to be one of the first things you’ll want to get rid of (but keep it with you for a bit, because you’ll need an iPhone for some others). (See the tutorials in this article). Fortunately, some of the most popular Android phones make it easy to switch without losing personal data.
The Google Pixel smartphones appear to be designed to compete directly with Apple by offering an Android alternative to the iPhone that is easy to use, well-designed, and packed with special features. Google has also made it easy to transfer all of your iPhone’s data by simply following the prompts on your Pixel phone. Just remember to turn off iMessage on your iPhone first so you don’t miss any text messages after switching to Android.
If you’d rather try one of Samsung’s bezel-less Galaxy phones, the process is pretty straightforward too, thanks to the dedicated Samsung Smart Switch app. All you have to do is back up your iPhone using iTunes and turn off iMessage. Then connect your new Android phone to the same computer and Samsung does the rest.
If you switch to another Android phone that doesn’t offer its own data service, don’t worry. Google has laid out an easy way to transfer all your iPhone data with you in three easy steps using Google Drive.
However, you still need your iPhone to transfer data from Apple Photos and the Apple Podcasts app. So don’t give up your old phone just yet.
Switch from your Mac to Windows computer
Next comes your computer. Leaving Apple means saying goodbye to overpriced laptops and desktops, although Microsoft offers its own relatively expensive computers as well. Whether you opt for the fancy Surface or the cheaper PC, you still have to work if you want to transfer all the information stored on your old Mac.
The first thing you need to do is set up a Microsoft account to replace your old Apple ID. From there, you have to connect your Mac to an external hard drive and transfer all your files. It’s actually quite a complex process, so go to Notebook magazine for a step-by-step guide. After you’ve finished saving and formatting all your files, all you have to do is connect your external hard drive to your new computer and drag all files to your computer’s desktop.
As with replacing your iPhone, you will still need your Mac to transfer data from iCloud Keychain, so don’t leave your Apple computer until you’ve completely made the switch.
End your addiction to iMessage
Apple Messages (formerly and forever in our hearts known as iMessage) is probably the biggest thing keeping most people from leaving the Apple universe. Removing your account is easy, and the bugs that used to cause former iMessage users to skip text messages have been fixed. However, if the rest of your friends and family continue to use iMessage, you may experience a slight loss of connection due to additional features that Apple continues to add to its messaging app.
Your best bet is to try to convince everyone else to ditch iMessage as well. Outside the US, most of the world already prefers third-party chat apps like WhatsApp . So maybe try convincing your social circles to try this app. You can also just start relying more on Facebook Messenger (everyone already has a Facebook account anyway). Whichever app you choose shouldn’t make a big difference to your data plan as iMessage is already using data when you’re not yet connected to Wi-Fi.
If all else fails, you can just use regular SMS and agree that your iPhone-owned friends are likely to judge you for your green bubble messages . This shouldn’t be a major financial concern, as almost everyone in the US has unlimited text messages at this point.
Move files from iCloud Drive to Google Drive
The next step is to transfer all the files that you store in Apple’s cloud service to Google Drive. This is very important if you are switching to Android, as you will probably want to start using Google Apps instead. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t make it easy either.
The trick, according to Android Central , is the use of desktop apps. The first thing you need to do is download the Google Drive and iCloud Drive apps to your computer. Then open both cloud storage services in separate Finder windows on Mac (or explorer windows on PC). Select all the iCloud Drive files you want to transfer and drag them to Google Drive. That’s all, done.
If you are opting out of downloading desktop apps, there is a solution, but it involves going to the iCloud website and transferring each file one at a time. So do yourself a favor and just take the easy route.
Transfer from iCloud Mail to Gmail
If you somehow still use Apple’s email service, it’s time to update it. Seriously, even if you’re planning to keep your iPhone or iMac, you should really use Gmail.
Switching from one to the other is surprisingly easy; all you need is a third-party email client, and KnightWise , a technical blog dedicated to switching between different platforms and services, recommends Thunderbird. After downloading it, connect your iCloud Mail account so that all your emails show up in Thunderbird. Then connect your Gmail account and you can drag and drop those iCloud emails to your Google account. This will bring them to your Gmail everywhere, including on the Internet.
Switching from iCloud Keychain to a different password manager
ICloud Keychain is a good introduction to the world of password managers, but you can do so much better. Plus, if you get rid of every Apple product in your life, you really have no choice but to find another option as it doesn’t work on third-party devices . Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to switch to a more powerful service like 1Password.
You can transfer all of your iCloud Keychain data to 1Password , but you need a Mac to do this. Assuming you meet this qualification, you can use this import tool to transfer data. Simply download the Testing Bits version, drag the new file onto your macOS desktop, and then complete the rest of the process by following the instructions in the included README.pdf file.
Ditch Apple Photos in favor of Google Photos
Before we get started, the first thing you need to do is decide if you want to keep all of your photos at their original resolution, or downsize some to fit Google’s maximum of 16 megapixels for images and 1080p for videos. Google Photos is only free for the High Quality tier, which compresses some content.
If you want to use the Original Quality version for high-definition photos and videos, you’ll need to pay extra starting at $ 1.99 per month – unless you have the Pixel 2 that comes with free Original Quality photo storage until 2020 of the year. …
The rest is pretty simple , but it takes a little time. First, you need to download the Google Photos app for macOS and iOS . Once they are installed, they will both quickly start downloading all the photos stored on your devices. If something has been uploaded to iCloud and then deleted from your physical devices, you can get it by opening the Apple Photos app for Mac, choosing Preferences, then choosing iCloud and setting the app to Upload Originals to Mac. Or do the same in iOS by going to Settings, then iCloud, then Photos and choosing Download and Save Originals.
Once everything is ready, your photos and videos should be uploaded to Google Photos. They will be stored online so you can access them from any device in the future.
Transfer from Apple Podcasts App to Stitcher Radio
If you are only doing one thing on this list, do it. Apple’s podcast app is absolutely terrible and the company doesn’t seem to be making any efforts to improve it. You don’t have to deal with it either; there are many other better options for downloading, listening and organizing all of your favorite podcasts.
Stitcher Radio is another alternative application that offers more user-friendly features. It’s also easy to swap if you’re already using Apple Podcasts. Just install Stitcher on your iOS device, then set up your account and it will automatically import all of your podcasts from the Apple app. Once that’s done, Stitcher syncs automatically between devices, so you can switch from iPhone to Android without losing anything.
Transfer from Apple Music to Spotify
It’s a little tricky. Apple doesn’t quite want you to leave its music streaming service in favor of a competitor, but you still have options .
One way to transfer all your saved music and playlists is with a program called Soundiiz . This requires you to export playlists from Apple music as .m3u files, and they upload them to Spotify via the Soundiiz website.
You can also use an automation app called Workflow . First download it from the App Store, and then search for “Add Playlist to Spotify” in the Workflow Gallery. The rest of the application will do the rest for you pretty quickly.
Neither of these first two solutions are ideal, and they can lose a few tracks in the process. Another Spotify user suggested a better solution of his own on the company’s forum, but it’s a little more complicated. This requires exporting your music from Apple Music, executing some code in the macOS terminal , and then uploading the files to Spotify through another third party website called PlayListConverter .
Out of your three options, the latter is probably your best choice if you want to make sure every song transfers from Apple Music to Spotify successfully. But if you’re looking for something less intense, try Workflow instead – you can probably fill in the gaps with Spotify’s streaming library anyway.
Switch iTunes Media to Google Play
In addition to what you’ve saved to Apple Music, you may have spent your own money buying music, movies, and TV shows through iTunes in the past. Just because you’re giving up Apple doesn’t mean you need to leave all those good things behind.
You can effortlessly transfer all your iTunes music to Google Play . Just go to play.google.com/music on your computer, sign in (or create an account) and select “Download Music”. Then select “Download Download Manager”, install the program on your computer and once it’s downloaded, allow it to save your iTunes music. Follow the instructions and Google will save up to 20,000 of your songs in the cloud for free so you can access them from any device – a great way to back up your music, even if you don’t leave Apple.
Unfortunately, transferring movies and TV shows purchased from iTunes to Google Play is a little more difficult (and much more expensive) due to the use of Apple DRM . To remove DRM protection, you’ll need to pay for a program like TunesKit (currently available for $ 45 ). If you’re willing to spend the money, you can transfer these files by logging into Google Play in your browser and going to the Movies & TV section. From there, you will be able to upload all your DRM-free videos to the cloud, where you can access them on any Android device.
Find a replacement for FaceTime
Finally, if you’re worried about losing FaceTime after leaving Apple, you can allay those fears. There are many great apps that can replace FaceTime one-to-one video chat.
Microsoft and Google offer viable alternatives to Skype and Duo, respectively. If you can’t convince your friends to download one of these apps, try using Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, both of which have built-in video calling functionality. With all of these options, you should be able to find something to fill the FaceTime-shaped hole in your life.