WhatsApp users who are switching to an iPhone from an Android-powered device can now take their message history with them.
Until now, it has only been possible to transfer WhatsApp data when moving in the other direction — from an iPhone to Google's Android platform — and this feature was only introduced last year.
Apple said its Move to iOS app, which can be downloaded to Android phones, has now been updated to securely transfer WhatsApp data. The app is already used to switching over other phone data including contact details, photos and videos.
WhatsApp said the transfer will take place while remaining fully encrypted and that it will begin to roll out on Tuesday, but will take about a week to reach all users.
"We're 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," Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Meta, of which WhatsApp is a part, posted on Facebook.
"This is a top requested feature. We launched the ability to switch from iPhone to Android last year, and now adding Android to iPhone as well."
The new feature comes a month after WhatsApp launched a function that enabled users to react to WhatsApp messages with a simple emoji, rather than having to type a response.
The feature was introduced so that "people can quickly share their opinion without flooding chats with new messages", according to a blog post announcing the move.
How to transfer WhatsApp data from Android to iOS
- Make sure your iPhone's software is updated to iOS 15.5 or above.
- Wipe the iPhone and set it to factory settings.
- Your Android phone needs to be on version 5.0 or above.
- Make sure your WhatsApp is updated to the latest version on the Android device.
- On the Android phone, download the Move to iOS app and follow the instructions.
— Additional reporting by PA News