WhatsApp now allows chat history transfer from iOS to Android, but there's a catch
One of the quirks with WhatsApp is that there is no easy way to transfer chats between iOS and Android making it cumbersome for those who change phones across OSs. Now, that may no longer be a concern as Facebook-owned WhatsApp now rolling out chat transfer history between iOS and Android devices.
WhatsApp uses different formats and cloud backups in Android and iOS making it impossible to directly restore chats upon a fresh app install. The other aspect is that WhatsApp uses on-device encryption for chats (except for those backed up to the cloud), which further complicates the process.
Therefore, WhatsApp will still not allow cloud-based transfer of chats across OSs. However, with the new update, WhatsApp allows transfer of chat history, including text messages, photos, videos, and voice messages, from iOS to Android via a USB-C to Lightning cable.
The catch is that this feature currently works on Samsung phones running Android 10 or higher. WhatsApp says support for other Android devices will be added soon, but there's no ETA available.
According to WhatsApp, the pre-requisites for WhatsApp transfer from iOS to Android include:
- Samsung SmartSwitch app version 126.96.36.199 or greater
- WhatsApp iOS version 188.8.131.52 or greater on your old device
- WhatsApp Android version 184.108.40.206 or greater on your new device
- USB-C to Lightning cable (or equivalent adapters)
- Use the same phone number on the new device as the old device.
- Your new Android device must be factory new or reset to factory settings.
Migration from Android to iOS is not currently possible, but future updates can be expected to fully enable this feature for users on either platforms.