Switching mobile platforms is stressful, but Apple and WhatsApp have made a part of it a lot easier.
The Cupertino-based tech giant and one of the most popular encrypted messaging platforms in the world, which is also owned by Meta, has partnered to ease the path from Android to iOS, at least for its previous WhatsApp conversations and activities on . Android.
On Tuesday, the duo introduced an addition to Apple’s “Move to iOS” app on the Google Play store on Android. The app is far from new. In fact, thousands of people use it to switch platforms every year. The main benefits of it are that it creates a peer-to-peer connection between your Android device and your new iPhone and then copies all your key data (photos, messages, contacts, calendar) and puts everything in the right places on the iPhone.
This update recognizes if you have an app and a WhatsApp account on your Android phone and offers to package the data and transfer it to your new iPhone.
Move to iOS does not decrypt your encrypted WhatsApp messages. Instead, everything is copied into an encrypted package that, while in the right place on your iPhone, doesn’t open on the device without your action.
Announcing the new WhatsApp feature, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on their Facebook page (opens in new tab), “We are adding to WhatsApp the ability to securely switch between phones and transfer your chat history, photos, videos and voice messages between Android and iPhone while maintaining end-to-end encryption. This is a much-requested feature. We released the iPhone–>Android capability change last year and now we’ve added Android–>iPhone as well.”
How to do this
First, you must make sure that you have the beta version of WhatsApp installed on your Android device. The Move to iOS feature may take a week to reach all WhatsApp users.
You must also ensure that you have the latest version of iOS 15.5, the latest version of Move to iOS and you are running Android 12 or higher.
You will want WhatsApp iOS version 18.104.22.168 or higher on your new iPhone.
Then you will need your old phone’s SIM card on your new phone as WhatsApp accounts are linked to your phone number.
When you open Move to iOS on your Android phone, it will automatically launch WhatsApp, where you will give it permission to package your data and send it to iPhone over a peer-to-peer connection (data never reaches the internet).
When you open the WhatsApp app on your iPhone, it completes the encrypted data download. However, it will not decrypt everything until you log into WhatsApp and authenticate with your phone numbers. After that, all your messages and other WhatsApp information should appear intact in the iOS version of WhatsApp.
Although WhatsApp is just one of many apps on your Android phone, billions of people use (opens in new tab). If only a tiny fraction of them want to switch platforms, this Move to iOS and WhatsApp update is a big deal.
If you also want to switch from WhatsApp to a new encrypted messaging app, here is a list of the best encrypted instant messaging apps for Android, most of which also have iOS versions. However, whether you can easily transfer your encrypted data from an Android phone to a new iPhone varies from app to app.
If you want to switch from iOS to Android, Google has you covered, although there is currently no assistance from WhatsApp.