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WhatsApp finally makes it easy to switch from Android to iPhone

WhatsApp updates on iPhone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

While plenty of people have made the move from Android to iPhone, likely thanks to the excellent iPhone 13 Pro, the nagging worry of losing your WhatsApp history can often be the one thing keeping people from leaving an Android device to one of the best iPhones. But that's just changed.

That's because WhatsApp is rolling out the ability to move your WhatsApp data from Android to iPhone. So switching phones won't mean starting everything all over again in the Facebook-owned chat app or trying to find third-party workarounds.

The rollout starts today (June 14) at 9 a.m. ET / 6 a.m. PT, and will be available to all WhatsApp users within about a week. However, WhatsApp migration is going to be folded into the Move to iOS app (opens in new tab) Apple offers in the Google Play store to help smooth the transition to its phones.

FYI: WhatsApp gets an upgrade to make group calls less painful.

Move to iOS already lets Android users transfer contacts, messages, photos, videos, email accounts and calendars to their new iOS-based handsets. The latest version of Move to iOS adds WhatsApp support, with the feature appearing right alongside the other data you can transfer.

In addition to the latest versions of WhatsApp and Move to iOS, you'll also need to be moving from an Android phone running Android 5 or later to an iOS device that's updated to iOS 15.5, the current version of Apple's iPhone software.

Move to iOS with WhatsApp support

(Image credit: Apple)

WhatsApp started adding the ability to move chat histories from iPhones to Android devices last year, and WhatsApp betas from earlier this year hinted that a vice versa feature was in the works

In a statement on his Facebook page (opens in new tab), Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, "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. 

"This is a top requested feature. We launched the ability [to] switch from iPhone-->Android last year, and [are] now adding Android-->iPhone as well."

WhatsApp has created two FAQ pages for the feature, so you can find out how to migrate data from Android to iPhone (opens in new tab) and how to migrate chat history from Android to iPhone (opens in new tab)

The move comes a few months before the likely arrival of the iPhone 14, the new flagship phones from Apple set to debut later this year. With last week's iOS 16 preview hinting strongly at an always-on display feature arriving on the iPhone 14 Pro models, we could see Apple make a play to reach Android converts when its new phones arrive, reportedly in the fall. Support for WhatsApp migration feels like another piece of that puzzle.

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.