The CEO of Meta – which oversees Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp – said that the highly-anticipated update would begin rolling out this week.
“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,” Mr Zuckerberg wrote in a post to Facebook.
“This is a top requested feature. We launched the ability to switch from iPhone-->Android last year, and now adding Android-->iPhone as well.”
The messaging app had previously made it nearly impossible to transfer chat histories from one device to another when switching from the Android to the iOS operating system.
It will now be possible to make the switch without using unofficial and complicated workarounds.
The process was laid out in a detailed blog post from the world’s most popular messaging app, titled ‘How to migrate your WhatsApp data from Android to iPhone’.
Users will need to be running Android 5 (launched in 2014), known as Lollipop, or a later version of the operating system. Similarly, the iPhone they are switching to will need to have iOS 15.5 or above, which was unveiled last month.
This essentially means the Android device can be over a decade old but the iPhone will need to be an iPhone 6s or newer, which includes any iPhone that had a release date after September 2015.
These newer iOS operating systems support the “Move to iOS” tool, which also works with other apps that are available on both Android and iOS.
If they meet the criteria, WhatsApp users will be able to trasfer account information, profile photo, individual chats, group chats, chat history, media, and settings, however they will not be able to transfer call history or display name.
“Both of your devices must be connected to a power source,” WhatsApp esplained in its blog post.
“Both of your devices need to be connected to the same WiFi network or you’ll need to connect your Android device to your iPhone’s hotspot.”
WhatsApp added that transferred data would not automatically go to cloud storage as a result of the migration, and that it would not be able to see the data transferred.