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WhatsApp finally launches its best upgrade in years but millions can't use it

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WhatsApp has at long last added the ability to directly transfer data from an iOS device to an Android phone. The in-demand feature means WhatsApp users can finally move their message library from an iPhone to an Android device by linking up the Apple and Google handsets with a cable. However, if you want to take advantage of this easy-to-use feature at launch you may need to purchase a new phone.

That’s because – to start with at least – the new WhatsApp feature is only available on Samsung Galaxy devices.

The feature was announced during Samsung’s most recent Unpacked event, with the WhatsApp feature available at first on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3.

And it is now available on all Samsung Galaxy devices running Android 10 or higher.

If you have an Android phone not made by Samsung, you’ll either have to fork out and purchase a shiny new Galaxy device – or wait for the feature to wing its way to your handset.

The WhatsApp transfer feature will be available via Samsung’s Smart Switch app.

This will make the move from iOS to Android a lot easier, as previously transferring WhatsApp conversations between devices required the use of Google Drive or iCloud backups.

READ MORE: Android warning: Why you must delete this version of WhatsApp NOW

While the WhatsApp feature is only available for Samsung Android users to start with, the good news is it will become more widely available in the future.

Will Cathcart, the head of WhatsApp and Facebook, previously said: “Want to securely take your WhatsApp history from one platform to another? We’re working to make this possible starting with @SamsungMobile devices, and it’s coming to @Android and iOS phones soon.”

The WhatsApp transfer feature became available for Samsung Galaxy users earlier this week.

Announcing the new capability in a blog post online, WhatsApp said: “One of the most requested features we’ve had is to make it possible to transfer chat history from one operating system to another when switching phones. We’ve been hard at work with operating system and device manufacturers to build it in a secure and reliable way.

“We’re excited to start rolling out the ability to move your WhatsApp history from iOS to Android. This happens without your messages being sent to WhatsApp in the process and includes voice messages, photos and videos. To start, this feature is available on any Samsung device running Android 10 or higher, and will be available on more Android devices soon.”

To easily transfer WhatsApp data between an iOS device and a Samsung Galaxy phone you’ll need a USB-C to Lightning cable.

You’ll also need at least the following versions of these apps on the relevant devices…

• Samsung SmartSwitch app version 3.7.22.1 or greater installed on your new device

• WhatsApp iOS version 2.21.160.17 or greater on your old device

• WhatsApp Android version 2.21.16.20 or greater on your new device

You will also need to have the same phone number on your new device as the old one. And your new Android phone must be factory new or reset to factory settings.

Here is a step-by-step guide for how to transfer WhatsApp data between an iOS phone and a Samsung Galaxy device…

• Turn on your Samsung and connect by cable to your iPhone when prompted

• Follow the Samsung Smart Switch experience

• When prompted, scan the QR code displayed on the new device using the iPhone’s camera

• Tap Start on your iPhone, and wait for the process to complete

• Continue setting up your new Samsung

• When you reach the home screen, open WhatsApp and log in using the same phone number used on your old device

• Tap Import when prompted, and allow the process to complete

• Finish activating your new device and you’ll see your chats waiting for you

• Your old device will still have your data unless you wipe it or delete WhatsApp



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