What you need to know
- WhatsApp has announced a new ability to switch from Android to iOS without losing chats.
- Users can take advantage of the Switch to iOS app and move chat history and data when switching to iPhone.
- Mark Zuckerberg says this is one of the most requested features.
WhatsApp is finally making it easier for people to switch from an Android phone to an iPhone without losing their chat history. In an announcement made via Facebook, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that people can now "securely switch between phones" while maintaining end-to-end encryption.
Previously, switching from Android to iPhone meant losing your chat history or relying on third-party apps. Now, that's no longer a requirement with WhatsApp tying into Apple's Move to iOS app which is available via the Google Play Store. WhatsApp outlines the steps to follow in a support document for moving data, and another for moving chat history — you'll want to follow both to get everything moved over.
There are caveats, however. First, you'll need the latest beta version of Android's WhatsApp app which at the time of writing is version 18.104.22.168. On the iPhone side, you'll need iOS 15.5 or later and WhatsApp 22.214.171.124 or newer. They're the main software requirements, alongside that Move to iOS app mentioned earlier.
In his announcement, Zuck said that an easier way to switch from Android to iPhone is a "top requested feature."
WhatsApp is one of the best iPhone apps for staying in touch with Android users who don't have access to iMessage, but actually switching from Android to iPhone has so far been a pain. With Apple getting ready to announce the iPhone 14 lineup and potentially luring existing Android users over to its camp, this WhatsApp news comes at just the right time. Hopefully the Android version of the app is out of beta by the time September rolls around.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.