“Historically, certain types of data were impossible to bring across when switching from an iPhone to Android”, the search giant wrote in a blog post. This is due to the difference in operating systems and chat backups: on Android, these were sent to Google Drive, while on Apple phones it was sent to iCloud.
Now, however, all a user would have to do is use a USB-C to Lightning cable to connect the old iOS device and the new Android device together, scan a QR code on the iPhone to launch WhatsApp and move all conversations, media, and history over.
Google will also automatically match and install the same apps that users had on their iPhone to the new phone from the Google Play Store, for a more seamless transfer.
This new transfer ability is available on Samsung Galaxy devices and all Pixel phones currently – shortly after the release of Google’s new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro – and will be coming to all new smartphones that launch with Android 12.
Google’s approach to messaging has changed over time following the launch – and failure – of many of their own messaging platforms such as Duo and Allo. Since then, Google has been focused on improving RCS (the successor to SMS) messaging with end-to-end encryption, new emoji, and other updates.
The underlying reason for all of this is iMessage, which has kept users (especially US users) locked to iPhones. Messages between Apple executives revealed during the Epic Games trial showed that the Cupertino company made a decision in 2013 not to allow iMessage across-platform because “iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove [an] obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones”.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies