Am thinking of switching from Android to iOS. Help me out with transferring big video files

I’m a longtime Mac and Android user (switched from an iPhone 4 to a Samsung Galaxy Note II to get that juicy phablet screen back in the day and haven’t gone back) and a travel/adventure YouTuber. I use my phone regularly to shoot random clips that I insert into my videos. I am thinking about switching back to an iPhone because it’s time for me to upgrade, and I’m unhappy with the video footage coming out of high end Android phones. To me, the iPhone video looks way better. (Plus I want auto device switching with AirPods, syncing Apple Notes, and a couple other features that come from getting an iPhone. Not looking forward to Lightning instead of USB C, though.)

The thing is, I love that my Android phone (an older S10e that certainly doesn’t have great video) has a removable micro SD card that makes transferring the footage to my Mac super fast and easy. One of my big concerns with switching from Android to iOS is transferring multiple 2+ GB video files from the phone to the computer. What’s the fastest way to do this? AirDrop? What are AirDrop transfer speeds like? How long would it take to transfer a 2 GB file over AirDrop? Or would iCloud be better (having the files backed up to the cloud and then accessing them from my Mac through iCloud Drive)? Or is there something else I’m missing?


I’ve been testing Prores video on my iPhone 13 Pro. Recording using FilmicPro which is also available on Android.

Not saying Prores is the right format to use all the time, but I’ve been testing it to see how to deal with the multi-gigabyte files it generates, best workflows, and whether the quality differences is worth it over Filmic Pro Extreme format, etc.

TL;DR - The only transfer method I found that is fast and reliable is using direct USB-to-Lightning cable plugged into computer (iMac or MacBook Pro).

It used to be called “iTunes file transfer” but is now a feature built into the Finder in the newer versions of macOS where iTunes morphed into “Music” and features were moved around.

Other than needing a cable and a Mac, it works reliably and it as fast as possible (limited by the Lighting speed, of course).

Everything else I have tried - AirDrop, iCloud sync, wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi local LAN access with FTP or WebDav servers, etc. have all been kludgy to setup and unreliable. Anything looping through the cloud is painfully slow, and local wire or wireless almost always failed before the file transfer was finished (for these multi-gb very large files).

YMMV, of course but with the wired file transfer, I can at least “set it and forget” and go do something else (walk the dog, go to lunch, etc.) and come back to a completed transfer, the pain of waiting is minimized.