Android: Google attacks the transfer of eSim cards between smartphones
If Apple offers to easily transfer its eSim card from one iPhone to another thanks to iOS 16, this functionality was still missing on Android. However, Google is visibly working on its deployment, as evidenced by the notes of the 2nd beta update of Android QPR 2.
In recent years, the eSim has gradually taken over from the traditional SIM card. In France, Orange was the first operator to get the ball rolling by offering eSIM to its subscribers in 2019. It took until 2020 for its competitors to get started. Bouygues has been offering the eSIM on compatible smartphones since June 2020, then followed by SFR and Free, the latest operator to integrate this functionality.
As a reminder, the eSIM is a miniature version of the traditional SIM card, which has the advantage of being soldered directly to the motherboard of your smartphone. In this way, compatible smartphones can do without a SIM card slot and save a lot of space to integrate other components.
Moreover, the eSIM greatly facilitates the procedures when changing devices, since all it takes is a simple phone call to your operator to activate the eSIM remotely on your new smartphone. Since the release of iOS 16 in September 2022, Apple has made life even easier for users switching from iPhone. Indeed, it is now possible to transfer your eSim card from one iPhone to another without going through the operator box.
Also to read : Android 13 will accelerate the abandonment of SIM cards in favor of the eSim
You might soon be able to transfer an eSIM profile from an old Android phone to a new phone, or convert a profile on a physical SIM card into an eSIM profile. Support for transferring profiles is being implemented in Google’s SIM Manager app the LPA on Pixel and many GMS devices.
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) January 9, 2023
Google is catching up with Apple on the transfer of eSim cards
However, in Android, this is still not the case. It is always necessary to deactivate your old eSim card before activating the new one on your new device by contacting your operator. Good news though, since this could change soon.
As Mishaal Rahman, the former editor of XDA Developers, revealed on Twitter, Android 13 QPR 2 Beta Update 2 (which has just arrived on compatible Pixels) had its share of surprises. Indeed, Android 13 QPR 2 contains a new system property called “euicc.seamless_transfer_enabled_in_non_qs”.
Here, euicc refers to the term “embedded universal integrated circuit card“, i.e. the software component of the eSIM. When to qs, it stands for Quick Setup. In other words, this property alludes to a new functionality allowing fast and seamless transfer of eSIM cards between two Android smartphones. Furthermore, and again according to Mishaal Rahman, it will also be possible to convert a physical SIM card to an eSIM profile. For the moment, difficult to know when this functionality will be deployed to the greatest number. We will have to wait for the arrival of the Pixel Feature Drop in March 2023 or Android 14 to find out for sure.