Apple might make it easier to switch from iPhone to Android — here's why

iPhone 14 Pro and Galaxy S23 Ultra screen side down on a slatted wooden side table
(Image credit: Laptop Mag/Sean Riley)

The ongoing conflict between Apple and the EU's Digital Markets Act — responsible for the iPhone 15 gaining a USB-C port — has been in the news quite a bit over the past few years. While the DMA was legally implemented in November 2022, "gatekeepers" (which includes Apple) had until March 6, 2024 to comply with it.

According to a compliance document published by Apple on March 7, 2024 (via The Verge), EU-based iPhone users have even more new features to look forward to in 2024 and 2025. In addition to gaining third-party app stores, iPhone users in the EU will be able to uninstall Safari and replace it with another app, as well as transfer data from an iPhone to an Android phone in a more "user-friendly" way.

Will US-based iPhone users get these features?

Unfortunately, Apple's compliance document doesn't explicitly say whether these new quality-of-life improvements will be rolled out globally or just in the EU. The Verge reached out to Apple to clarify, but the company hasn't gotten back to the site yet. Apple has, however, reportedly told its support staff not to speculate on other enforced features by the DMA making their way to the US market.

As such, if we had to guess, the features are most likely going to be EU-exclusive. This would be in line with the DMA-compliance features Apple has already announced, including the ability to install third-party app stores and run a non-WebKit browser engine.

Best phone deals — iPhone 15 Plus in hand

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Whether they're EU-exclusive or not, these new features will roll out in late 2024 and 2025. The ability to uninstall Safari should be available around the end of 2024, followed by being able to change the default navigation app by March 2025 and easily transferring data "from an iPhone to a non-Apple phone" by fall 2025.

US-based iPhone users who want to switch to an Android phone can still use Google's 'Switch to Android' app to transfer data, but it's not a complete solution. It'll transfer your contacts, texts, notes, photos, videos, and free apps, but paid apps and other data won't carry over. 

The new phone data transfer feature Apple plans to implement to comply with the DMA will likely allow for easier transfer of paid apps and other iPhone-specific data, but only EU-based iPhone users will definitely get to use these features. We'll have to wait and see what Apple has to say about rolling out these user-friendly features globally.

While the EU's Digital Markets Act affects more companies than Apple, there have been more widespread disagreements between Apple and the EU. For the full picture, here's an overview of the Apple vs EU debacle.