T3 has previously reported on the bevy of new WhatsApp features that are being rolled out this summer, and right now a highly anticipated upgrade has just dropped.
The feature upgrade allows iPhone users to port their WhatsApp chat history and data from their handset to an Android phone, which previously was not possible.
This means that you can now transfer account info, profile photo, individual chats, group chats, chat history, media and settings. This is obviously fantastic, as it means WhatsApp users don't have to scrub everything to switch phone platform.
Right now this feature is only available on Samsung phones, as detailed by the official WhatsApp blog post reveal, but it is shortly rolling out to other Android handsets. Here's what you need to perform the switch, and then instructions as how to do it.
What you need to port your WhatsApp data from iPhone to Android
1. Samsung SmartSwitch app version 188.8.131.52 or greater installed on your new device.
2. WhatsApp iOS version 184.108.40.206 or greater on your old device.
3. WhatsApp Android version 220.127.116.11 or greater on your new device.
4. USB-C to Lightning cable (or equivalent adapters).
5. Use the same phone number on the new device as the old device.
6. Your new Android device must be factory new or reset to factory settings.
How you transfer your WhatsApp data from iPhone to Android
1. Turn on your Samsung and connect by cable to your iPhone when prompted.
2. Follow the Samsung Smart Switch experience.
3. When prompted, scan the QR code displayed on the new device using the iPhone’s camera.
4. Tap Start on your iPhone, and wait for the process to complete.
5. Continue setting up your new Samsung.
6. When you reach the home screen, open WhatsApp and log in using the same phone number used on your old device.
7. Tap Import when prompted, and allow the process to complete.
8. Finish activating your new device and you’ll see your chats waiting for you.
The key aspect most people will recognise from this process is that you have to physically connect both devices together with a cable. This seems old fashioned but is WhatsApp's way right now of ensuring privacy and security is maintained, as no data goes into cloud storage in the migration, and WhatsApp (or anyone else) can see the data during the transfer. It is very much a secure tunnel from device to device.
Our take here at T3 is that this is very welcome new functionality from WhatsApp, albeit it quite restrictive right now in terms of usage. When all Android phones can benefit from this feature then it will be far more useful. Naturally, a secure way to wirelessly transfer chats would be even better, but right now we’ll take this over the nothing that was possible before.
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