There’s good news for Android users who have been looking to switch to an iPhone but are worried about preserving their WhatsApp data. WhatsApp and Apple have announced support for porting data from the messaging app on Android to iOS. The option will be available in WhatsApp’s beta version. It will roll out slowly and take about a week to get to all users. Last year, Google and WhatsApp announced that users would be able to transfer chats from iOS to Android.
The feature will be much appreciated by Indian users given how popular WhatsApp is in the country with over 450 million users. The biggest concern for Android users when switching to iOS is often around saving WhatsApp data. The end result was users relied on a lot of 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 the iCloud, and there’s no compatibility between the two.
The ability to transport the data will be included in Apple’s Move to iOS app, which is available on the Google Play Store. The option will be available when a user is setting up a new iPhone using the app. Android users will need to be on a minimum of Android 5.0 and above. Apple iOS users will need to be on iOS 15.5 and above.
If a user will click 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. After the data is moved, when a user launches WhatsApp on their iPhone for the first time, it will detect the data there and decrypt it, and all of the previous chats will be restored. The data will include chat history, photos, videos, etc from WhatsApp.
WhatsApp data transfer Android to iOS: Here’s how it will work, according to the company’s FAQ page
- Install the Move to iOS app on your Android phone. Make sure you are on WhatsApp iOS version 220.127.116.11 or above on your new device. On Android, the WhatsApp version needs to be 18.104.22.168 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.
- According to WhatsApp, 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.
According to WhatsApp, the transferred data doesn’t go to cloud storage as a result of the migration until the user creates an iCloud backup. It also notes that the Android phone will still have your data unless you delete WhatsApp or wipe your phone.
Users will be able to transfer personal messages, but peer-to-peer payment messages and call history will not get transferred. Apple’s Move to iOS app also supports the option for a user to have all the free apps on their Android device ported to iOS. If a free app on Android has an equivalent on the App Store, users have the option to get these back when they set up the new iPhone. The apps will be shown on the home screen after setup, though a user will have to tap on them to ensure they get downloaded.
Keep in mind that the WhatsApp portability feature is only available if you are setting up a new iPhone using the Move to iOS app. This means that 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.