Switching Android to BlackBerry

You’ve made the leap to BlackBerry 10 and ditched your Android device? Welcome to CrackBerry Nation! Let us help you get comfortable. As a primer to your transition, you’ll want to read about some of the general trends to expect when switching from Android to BB10.

In this piece, we’re going to be drilling down into specific step-by-step instructions on how to set up and transfer your various Google services to BlackBerry 10. With almost everything in the cloud, it’s a relatively painless process.

Before anything, try the handy-dandy Device Switch app in BlackBerry World and Google Play on your Android device when you're on the same Wi-Fi network. Not only does that transfer pictures and video, but contacts and calendars as well. Once the two recognize each other, all you have to do is put the matching PIN number in, select the content to transfer, and you're off. If for whatever reason that doesn't work, there are plenty of options. 

E-mail, Contacts, Calendar

This is probably going to be the first thing you’ll be setting up on your new BlackBerry 10 device.

  1. From the home screen, swipe down from the top of the screen and tap Settings.
  2. Tap Accounts.
  3. Tap Add Account at the bottom.
  4. Enter your username, tap the Next button in the top-right, then enter your password. You can use application-specific passwords if you have two-step authentication enabled.
  5. Make sure toggles for e-mail, contact, and calendar sync are all turned on.

You’re done! It’ll take a second for everything to process, but after that, you’ll have set everything important up in one fell swoop. If you’re using Google Apps for enterprise, the same process should work, though you might have to set it up as Exchange ActiveSync for full push support. If there are additional settings like that to tweak, tap the Advanced button at the bottom after step 2. Now that you’re good to go, you’ll want to check out these tips on how of how use e-mail, contacts, and calendars on BlackBerry 10.  

Pictures, Music, and Documents

If your old Android device had an accessible microSD card slot, life is easy for moving music, photos and files to your BlackBerry device: just make sure all of your media is on the memory card using a file manager like Astro, pop out the card, and put it into your BlackBerry 10 device. If your Android device was fully-enclosed without removable storage, or the BlackBerry is prompting you to format the SD card, you’re going to have to do this the old-fashioned way.

  1. Plug in both your BlackBerry 10 device and your Android device to your PC with USB cables.
  2. Ensure mass storage is on for both devices and that you can browse the files on your PC. For Android, you should get a notification prompting you to switch modes. Swipe down from the top of the screen and it should say that you’re “Connected as a media device”. If not, tap the notification to change it. On BlackBerry, it should also automatically be made readable, but if not, swipe from the top of the home screen, tap Settings, tap Storage and Access, scroll down to the bottom, and flip the USB Mass Storage toggle.
  3. Now you just need to copy and paste your photos and music folders from one to the other. Open your photos directory on your Android device from your PC or Mac in Explorer or Finder. The directory is usually named DCIM. Select all of the pictures there (Ctrl + A or Command + A) and copy them (Ctrl + C or Command + C). Now open up the camera directory on your BlackBerry 10 device (both local storage and SD card options should pop up - take your pick and find or create a directory), and paste the pictures in (Ctrl + V or Command + V). This might take awhile, depending on how many you have.
  4. One more time for music. Find your Android device’s music directory, copy the files there, and paste them in the BlackBerry music directory with the same process.

If that sounds like a lot of work, you can try syncing your files over Box. 

  1. Download Box on your Android device, and log in or create an account.
  2. Do the same on your BlackBerry 10 device.
  3. Hit the + button on the bottom, navigate to your photos directory, and select everything you want to transfer (the checkmark box in the top-left lets you select everything). Do the same for video if you need them.
  4. For a destination directory, pick the BlackBerry/photos one that was generated when you paired up your BB10 device. Videos go to BlackBerry/video.
  5. Once the pictures are done uploading, open up Box on your BlackBerry 10 device, ensure that Pictures and Videos toggle are turned on and that you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network (or that the Use Cellular Network toggle is on).
  6. Swipe down from the top of the screen and select Sync Now. (I had some issues getting this to work, but Bla1ze got it going fine. If you're having problems, continue...)
  7. Tap the View my Files button from the Box app, tap the overflow menu button in the bottom-right, hit Select, then pick out the files you want to transfer. This can take awhile, since there's no Select All option.
  8. Tap the Copy button in the sidebar, tap Back in the bottom-left, tap the menu button in the bottom left, tap Device or Media Card (wherever you want to dump the files)
  9. Tap Paste in the bar at the top. 

The nice thing about this manual process is that you can also use it to transfer music and other files via the cloud, and get your stuff backed up in the process. Dropbox is a viable alternative if you're not going to rely on automatic syncing too.

If you're already syncing your Android content to your PC through one mechanism or another, the BlackBerry Link desktop software can step in very easily. For music, you'll need to be managing your music through either iTunes or Windows Media Player. If you're not, you're probably better off with the copy and paste method mentioned earlier. 

BlackBerry Link

  1. Make sure you've backed up all of your latest Android content to your PC, and make note of where it's all being saved.
  2. Download and install BlackBerry Link.
  3. Plug in your BlackBerry 10 device over USB.
  4. Open BlackBerry Link, and select the computer tab along the bottom.
  5. For photos,video, and documents select the tab on the left side, and tap the "Folder+" button at the top to identify where that content is on your computer.
  6. For music, tap the gear icon at the top-right, and click the drop-down menu beneath "Pick your desktop music source" to chose either iTunes or Windows Media Player. 
  7. Right click on any folder you want to sync on the left-hand pane or any individual items in the main window on the right, select Sync To, and click your device. 

Be sure to check out our full tour of BlackBerry Link to see everything it can do. If you use Google Music, BlackBerry World's got an app to help you out, along with access to many popular music services

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts still has its legacy Talk branding on BB10. You’ll be missing out on some of the fancier stuff that you’re used to on Android, but you’ll be able to chat, and hey, you can sort by online/offline status again.

  1. Download Google Talk from BlackBerry World if it isn’t already installed.
  2. Open Google Talk and punch in your username and password. Again, application-specific passwords for two-step authentication will work here. 

Google Talk doesn’t have to stay open in an Active Frame in order for you to receive notifications, and there’s a dedicated subsection of the Hub where you can see all of your latest Gtalk messages.

Google Drive

Odds are you’ll have a lot of files up in Google Drive. Unfortunately, there’s no native integration with the BlackBerry 10 Files app, so you’ll need to find a third party app like PlayCloud 10 to access Drive files.

  1. Download PlayCloud 10 from BlackBerry World.
  2. Open it, swipe down from the top and tap Settings.
  3. Tap the Accounts tab and select Google Drive.
  4. Tap Register and input your log-in details.
  5. Tap the Enable toggle at the top and the Connect button directly below.
  6. Return to the home screen, tap the tab navigation in the bottom-left, and select Google Drive.
  7. Tap the Connect button at the bottom. (If that doesn’t work, tap the overflow menu in the bottom-right and tap Refresh.)

If you’re looking for Android apps, you’ll want to scope out our sideloading how-to

With all of that, you should be well on your way to a rewarding future on BlackBerry 10! Be sure to check out our in-depth BlackBerry 10 review for a full tour of the operating system's features. 

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.