I want to switch from Android to iPhone — but this problem is holding me back

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max
(Image credit: Future)

As a tech writer who has reviewed plenty of smartphones over the last decade, people are often surprised when they see the handset I personally use. And not just because its frame is an offensively bright yellow (let’s just say that Black Friday discounts can cloud one's judgement).

No, the reason for surprise is that I’m still rocking a Samsung Galaxy S10e — a handset that’s now more than three years old. And while I would indeed love the latest and greatest, I’m trying to stick it out for environmental reasons. But with a battery capacity that can now charitably be described as “barely adequate” (it dropped from 12% to zero and switched off during a gig on Friday), it’s nearly time to upgrade.

This time, I’m thinking of breaking the habit of a decade and abandoning Android for iOS. I haven’t used one of the best iPhones since Peggle occupied all my time on the 3GS, but I fancy a change, swipe texting is now a thing and I can even chip in with iOS guides for this very website. 

But one thing is holding me back, and it has nothing to do with Apple.

What’s up with WhatsApp?

WhatsApp logo on iPhone

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Like many people, for me WhatsApp has made SMS texting redundant and is my main mode of communication. Jumping between Android devices over the last decade has been easy, with entire chat histories following my journey in minutes.

But that’s not the case if you want to switch operating systems. Yes, you can transfer from iOS to select Samsung Galaxy phones, but there’s no official method for going the other way. And all the unofficial methods I’ve found sound… dicey.

WhatsApp says this functionality is on the way “in the coming months”, which sounds great! The trouble is that this webpage has made this promise since at least last September, and it strikes me that “coming months” can mean anything between “July 2022” and “the heat death of the universe”.

FYI: WhatsApp finally makes it easy to switch from Android to iPhone.

There are no doubt plenty of people reading about my dilemma and thinking “yeah, so what?” I both understand and envy that devil-may-care mindset. For me, and I imagine millions of neurotic people like me, having a searchable record of past chats feels (definitely not the same as “is”) essential, and burning it all for a change of operating systems just isn’t something I can easily do.

No doubt if I just did it and switched, I’d quickly forget my discomfort, but that’s not the point! It’s apparently possible and coming soon… and so I wait.

In the meantime, I’m leaning on my journalistic privileges and trying to quiz WhatsApp on if they have a more specific date in mind. If and when I get a response, I’ll update this to share with my fellow hanger-oners.

All the while, the clock ticks ever closer to the anticipated September 2022 release date of the iPhone 14. If we reach the year anniversary of WhatsApp’s “coming months” promise being made with no progress, then unfortunately it looks like I’m stuck with Android for another generation.

But at least I’ll have my chat records intact.

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.

  • GoGoGriffster
    So how often do you look back on chat history? If you’re like most, it wont be that often. Just save yourself from all your Android woes and switch and move forward with your life. Leave your history on your old phone if you really need to get something historical
  • Dk001
    If you really want to switch, wait till the 15 for USB-C.
    I use both and having that bloody lightning is a pain. Only device I have that doesn’t use USB-C. I currently use both iOS and Android.
  • JoeyRiz
    You could switch right now. Their are ways to do it. It sucks to do it but their are ways. I just did it my self and you could even do a story on it while you do it lol
  • lelon(pa)
    Was this article actually written recently? Or was it refreshed with a recent timestamp to be pulled to the top?

    WA supports the one thing cited by the author as a blocking impediment: https://faq.whatsapp.com/general/chats/how-to-migrate-your-whatsapp-data-from-android-to-iphone
    @alanattom is that you (legit, no clue)? 🤷‍♂️