Today, Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook, “We’re adding to WhatsApp the ability to securely switch between phones and transfer your chat history, photos, and voice messages between Android and iPhone while maintaining end-to-end encryption. This is a top requested feature. We launched the ability to switch from iPhone —-> iPhone as well.”
It appears that this was first spotted by the WABBetaInfo website. It provided information for people who want to migrate their chat history from Android to iOS. The first thing to know is that you need to have at least Android 5 installed on your Android device and iOS 15.5 on your iPhone.WABBetaInfo says that since iOS 16 is a beta version, it is not guaranteed that it will work since WhatsApp does not provide support for beta versions of iOS.
When you transfer your chat history across different platforms, WhatsApp is not able to see the data you transfer. In addition, you need to manually enable the end-to-end encrypted backup option right within WhatsApp for iPhone if you want, even if you already enabled encrypted backups on WhatsApp for Android.
The Verge points out that if you already have a preexisting iOS chat history, then the imported Android history will overwrite it. That’s definitely something to consider if you are someone who likes to save your chats.
Engadget reported that the WhatsApp feature will help you move your content over from Android to iOS. It will be part of Apple’s existing “Move to iOS” tool. To be clear, WhatsApp’s feature is available as a beta for now, so you may encounter bugs during the transfer process.
According to Engadget, when you select WhatsApp, it will open automatically and prompt you to give permission to move your data over to iOS. Depending on the amount of content you have, it’ll take awhile to package everything up and transfer it to your iPhone. Apple will also pre-load the WhatsApp icon on your home page so you can just tap it to finish installing it on your new iPhone, instead of having to go through the App Store.
TechCrunch reported that the process you use to transfer to iOS also can be used to transfer your account information, profile picture, individual chats, group chats, chat history, media and settings. However, you can’t transfer your call history or display name.
Overall, it sounds to me like the ability to transfer your WhatsApp information from Android to iOS could be enticing for people who were already thinking about getting an iPhone. One thing to keep in mind is that Meta (parent company of Facebook and Instagram) owns WhatsApp.