The functionality is for the moment still reserved exclusively for Samsung devices.
WhatsApp has just added a new feature, which allows users to transfer their data from iOS device to Android machine. It will therefore now be possible to transfer all of your chat history, which includes voice messages, photos, and videos. However, it is not possible to transfer peer-to-peer payment messages, or the history of voice calls.
This transfer is done directly from one device to another, using a USB-C to Lightning cable. Without going through the WhatsApp servers, which therefore avoids a potential point of vulnerability. There is one limitation, however, and it is particularly significant: at present, you will need to own a Samsung device to take advantage of this feature. Ultimately, the Whatsapp teams intend to extend this functionality to the entire Android ecosystem, in order to offer a standardized, secure and efficient transfer solution.
To perform this migration, you will need the Samsung Smart Switch (SSS) app and the famous USB-C to Lightning cable. Also note that the new device must be assigned to the same phone number as the old one, otherwise the transfer will not work. WhatsApp also specifies that the Android device must be “New or restored to factory settings”, which seems to limit the practical interest of this solution even further.
But if you meet all these criteria, here is the precise process to make this transfer, as explained in the documentation of the application:
- Turn on your Samsung device, and connect it to iPhone from the cable
- Launch Samsung Smart Switch and follow the on-screen instructions
- Scan the QR code displayed by SSS using your iPhone
- Click “Start” on your iPhone
- Complete your Samsung settings
- Open WhatsApp and sign in, then Import data
Note that according to The Verge, your old phone will still keep the data in question unless you specifically delete it; there is therefore no risk of losing everything due to an unfortunate click.