Signal Messenger Migration Android to iPhone

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Supported Migration Paths

see [1]

Android -> Android
iPhone -> iPhone

Problem: Android -> iPhone is not supported. Therefore on 21.06.2020 I chose this path:

Signal@Android -> Plain-SMS@Android -> iMessages@iPhone

Steps

on Android:

  • use Signal app to create backup on SD card
  • copy backup to PC

on PC

  • decrypt backup
    • use signal-back to decrypt the backup
    • example used on Mac: ./signal-back_darwin_amd64 format -f XML -o backup.xml signal-2020-06-20-17-53-30.backup
  • Cleanup and fixing
    • In my case multimedia messages where broken after import into Android, therefore (and because of the occupied spaces) I decided to delete them (<mms entries), keeping only plain text messages (<sms entries)
    • As signal uses pseudonymization on the telephone numbers by replacing them by IDs, one needs to search and replace them back :-(
    • Here is a Python Script that supports this job

on Android

on iPhone
in order to import messages to the iPhone the migration today is only possible on a reset/empty iPhone.

  • I used iTunes on the PC to do backup the iPhone
  • reset iPhone to factory default, deleting all data
  • setup the iPhone and choose migration from Android phone
  • I select only messages/conversations for migration
  • afterwards I checked that the messages have been transferred correctly
  • in iCloud settings: enabling iMessages Sync and wait until the sync is complete

on Mac

  • check that the iMessages now show the Android SMSs
  • restore the above created backup to iPhone

on iPhone

  • in iCloud settings: enabling iMessages Sync and wait until the sync is complete