In addition to the Connect Chrome extension, yet another of Motorola's specially-built pieces of software has gone live before today's Moto X press event. This time it's an Android app, apparently designed to easily sync between an old phone and a new one. It's called Motorola Migrate, and it's available now for all phones running Android 2.2 or higher.

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The idea is pretty simple: log into the Motorola service on your old phone, select among call history, text messages, SIM card contacts, media, and some very basic settings, open Migrate on your new phone, scan a QR code, and get going. It looks like Motorola is trying to cover all the important bases that aren't handled by Android and Google themselves - for example, while Google will sync your phone contacts to a new device, SIM contacts are not supported, causing some users to play musical chairs with phones and SIM cards. The Migrate app will likely be installed on new Motorola phones for the foreseeable future.

It's not clear how the larger bits of data such as the nebulous "media" are transferred. If, say, a 1GB collection of music should be sent over the user's mobile network, a good chunk of their monthly data could be eaten away, to say nothing of the fact that most users will only have one active SIM card available at any given time. WiFi support would seem to be the answer here, and is heavily implied via the app permissions. Tablets are not supported.

Look for more detailed information on Motorola Migrate, not to mention Motorola Connect and oh yeah, that Moto X thingy, following today's announcement.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Yousef

    At this rate I expect the phone to have shipped and been delivered before Moto announces it.

    • Anon

      It's still not showing up on AT&T's site yet...

      • Yousef

        Give it a few minutes, I'm sure it'll be up soon enough.

  • chris125

    It would be nice if this would work on iPhones as well for those switching

    • Justin Foster

      Rofl, now we're talking. Hope this converts many iPhonians to Googlism.

      • chris125

        Well Htc did it so I wouldn't see why google/moto couldn't

  • sri_tech

    I want to know two things about this phone before I decide about my next purchase.

    1. Price.
    2. Update policies.

    If it costs same as nexus 4 and promised to get updates at the same time as nexus devices then i will upgrade my galaxy nexus to this phone.
    Otherwise, I will wait for next nexus.

    • Hothfox

      I don't think it's stock Android, is it? I mean, they've got their own camera app installed.

      • Simon Belmont

        It's definitely not stock. Even the soft buttons on the bottom have a transparent bar around them versus the black you see in stock Android.

        Also, it has all that contextual language processing and so forth. The Moto X will get updated when Motorola updates it, not Google.

        • Hothfox

          Depending on how easy the bootloader is to unlock, I expect devs will get stock ROMs on it. I'd like to hear about it's hackability after it's out before I jump on it.

      • maverik013

        Not stock but as close to being stock as it can be. Only thing that would prevent Moto from quick upgrades then it would be network operators.

    • Alex Flynn

      The only devices that can receive updates at the same time as Nexus devices are other Nexus devices. The source is only publicly available when the new builds for the Nexus devices are available. Dont forget, Moto is not a part of Android, it does not get 'early access'

      • Justin Foster

        At least that's what we've been made to think ;)

      • turdbogls

        but what about these leaks of 4.3 we see on the GS3? I'm not saying you are wrong, but I think the source is more available than you think to major manufacturers. 4.3 leaked for the S3 on July 22nd.....Source didn't Drop into the AOSP until the 24th. I think manufacturers have source (maybe not final source) in their hands much earlier than the public does.

        • stephen.williamson

          google did mentioned 6month-1year ago (not sure when) that they was going to give manufactures early access so they can get sorted with their skins. As a way to help out getting there phones updated in <6month time period..

          I think you can see that with the way 4.3 is about to be updated. It use to take ages (months) before hearing anything from company about upgrading existing phones!

        • Freak4Dell

          Yes, Google does give the OEMs early access, but it's still not early enough to drop an update on the same day.

      • Alex Murphy

        You're wrong, all Android partners get early access to the Android source code months ahead of release. In fact every OEM has engineers permanently stationed in Mountain View to work alongside the Android team to optimize the code for all the various devices. So Motorola, if they worked fast, could certainly push out the new update within a few weeks of the Nexus devices.

    • Alan Shearer

      Rumor is not stock android, but very close to it, something like sony or asus does with their phones/tablets.

  • Matthew Gardner

    Showing up as installable in the Australian version of the Play store.
    International launch?

    • Omar Al Matar

      There are 3 dots in the QR code, Halo 3 Confirmed.

      • Daniel DS

        This isn't 9GAG. Shut up

        • Omar Al Matar

          You should probably install some sense of humor from your Australian appstore, Oh wait it's not available it seems.


    • Joey Colclough

      Just thought that myself, available here in Ireland, hopefully means a European launch as well fingers crossed.

  • Simon Belmont

    Honest question, here. Who really stores their contacts on their SIM card anymore, what with cloud syncing via Google and so forth? I mean, I guess storing them there would be good for a backup or something. The use case just seems pretty limited to me.

    I haven't stored my contacts to a SIM card since like 2009. The only case I could see where it'd be really useful is if you were planning on taking your SIM card out of your smartphone and putting it into a feature phone, but this Motorola app is obviously for an Android to Android transfer.

    • bruce

      Some operators store their Customer service/voicemail/other service numbers in the SIM.
      Having said that though, you'll probably be moving your SIM across to the new phone so I don't really see the point either. Still, better to have it and not use it, than not to have it and need it :)

    • Egnimatic_Foolishness

      Practically everybody I know. I've helped so many people transfer phone numbers from their old phones once they get a new phone. Even worse are the people who save the number to the phone itself. Haven't you ever seen the Facebook posts from people saying that something happened to their old phone and they need everybody's numbers again?

      • Simon Belmont

        I guess I was aiming this more at people that already use smartphones considering this Motorola Migrate app IS for Android phones, after all. The need for saving contacts to your SIM card is a lot lower these days because of the aforementioned cloud syncing.

        I don't use Facebook, but I am familiar with those posts that you've mentioned. I could see where it would be useful for transferring from feature phones to a smartphone (or vice versa, like I said in my OP). That said, I can't recall anyone facing this issue, THAT I KNOW, in recent times. Also, even if they save them to the phone, people can usually move them to the SIM card afterwards (even most feature phones have a built-in utility for that).

        • Egnimatic_Foolishness

          Everybody I have helped to transfer numbers, has been from android phone to android phone. (Well not counting my dad) I don't know what it is, but most people I've seen, tend to save to sim or phone instead of Google. Hell I was just ambushed at work last week, by someone desperate to transfer contacts from a galaxy to a HTC one

          • Simon Belmont

            That's pretty sad, actually, but you're a sport to help them out. Good for you, man. :)

            It's probably because a lot of skinned phones tend to default to saving on the phone (for some reason) instead of to the Google contacts. It doesn't make any sense, but at least stock Android defaults to one's Google contacts (and rightfully so). :D

    • maverik013

      It is not just about syncing contacts but your recent call history and text messages which are invariably lost when you switch phones. Its a sweet sweet feature, good move Moto!

      • Simon Belmont

        Yeah, I actually think backing up the texts and recent calls is a useful feature. I was just zeroing in on the SIM contacts.

        Me, I don't mind losing texts and calls between devices. I actually clear out my text threads about once a month.

  • Michael Pahl

    Also works with NFC, sweet!

  • Grimmjow

    Google must have realized the effect of a good surprise with the Chromecast.

  • Ray Sunghwa Woo

    Can't you just use Google account? It saves contact list and updates automatically online. And once you have your new phone, sign in the Google account and it will download all the contact list.

    Is there a function in iPhone to upload contact list to Gmail? If so, it will solve so many problems.

  • Niels

    Some of the reviews are pure bull, claiming they love their moto x. Sounds fishy...

  • LeoS

    Wow, I didn't really expect the app description and even the screenshots (!) to be in Finnish!

  • http://shawnw.org shawnw

    I'm actually changing phones today (RAZR M with a bunk battery to a replacement RAZR M) and am trying to use this. However, when I open Migrate on my old phone, I just have a button that says Get Started, then it loads the scanner. It does this on my new phone, too. How do I get the QR code to show?

  • Bronislav Shtrom

    Just to confirm, this goes from ANY phone to ANY phone? Android of course, but I mean it doesn't have to be Motorola right?

  • wvchrisj

    I have the moto x and the galaxy s4 both. I was trying to use the migrate to move info from my s4 over to the x. Every time I scan the QR code or use NFC to start the transfer process my S4 drops its wifi. Any idea why the migrate would kick my wifi off?