Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that WhatsApp users will now have the ability to transfer their chat history from Android to iPhone.
Aside from chat history, users can also transfer photos, videos and voice messages.
Earlier, users could only transfer chats the other way (from iPhone to Android).
The feature is rolling out in beta for now and will take about a week to get to all users.
The update addresses a long-standing WhatsApp issue that made it difficult to transfer chats between the two OSes.
As a result users had to resort to dubious third-party apps which often did not do the job as claimed.
On Android, WhatsApp data is backed up to Google Drive, while on iOS it is backed up to iCloud, and there’s no compatibility between the two.
It was easier to transfer chats from one iOS device to another or from one Android device to another but generally not between the two different operating systems.
How It Works
The transfer process only works on new or factory reset iPhones and utilises Apple’s existing Move to iOS app for Android.
Once a user clicks on WhatsApp data as an option in the app, the data will be packaged in a format compatible with iOS.
Apple or WhatsApp will not see any of this data and it will remain encrypted.
Once the data is transferred and a user launches WhatsApp on their iPhone for the first time, it will detect the data there, decrypt it, and all of the previous chats will be restored.
How To Do It
Install the Move to iOS app on your Android phone.
Make sure you are on WhatsApp iOS version 184.108.40.206 or above on your new device. On Android, the WhatsApp version needs to be 220.127.116.11 or above.
Use the same phone number as your old phone on your new device.
Your iPhone must be factory new or reset to factory settings.
Both devices need to be connected to a power source and need to be on the same Wi-Fi. Or the Android device will have to be connected to the iPhone’s hotspot.
The user then needs to open the ‘Move to iOS’ app on Android and follow the instructions on the screen
Select WhatsApp on the Transfer Data screen.
Tap Start on your Android phone, and wait for WhatsApp to prepare the data for export. You’ll be signed out from your Android phone once the data is prepared.
Tap Next to return to the Move to iOS app.
Tap Continue to transfer the data from your Android phone to your iPhone and wait for Move to iOS to confirm the transfer is complete.
Now on the iPhone, install the latest version of WhatsApp.
Open the app and log in with the same phone number.
Tap Start when prompted, and allow the process to complete.
Finish activating your new device and you’ll see your chats waiting for you.
You Should Know
In order to initiate the transfer, the Android device has to be running Android 5 or up and iOS 15.5 on the iPhone.
The transferred data doesn’t go to cloud storage as a result of the migration until the user creates an iCloud backup.
The Android phone will still have your data unless you delete WhatsApp or wipe your phone.
Peer-to-peer payment messages and call history will not get transferred.
If you have an iPhone already set up, you can’t go back to your old WhatsApp data on an older Android and just port that data.
The only way to do this would be to wipe your iPhone clean again and set it up as a new device again.