WhatsApp has on Wednesday unveiled a much-anticipated feature allowing users to finally transfer their chat history between iOS and Android phones. This is a feature that has been hugely anticipated by users, and until now, if you switched from an iPhone to an Android phone, or vice versa, then you either had to trust third-party apps, take complicated steps, or just give up on your chat history. With the new feature, WhatsApp is promising an easy solution to this problem.
WhatsApp made the announcement at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event, and at first, users will be able to use the feature to migrate their chat history from iPhones to Samsung phones, starting with the new foldables from the South Korean tech giant — it looks like Samsung is hoping that this might help entice users who were locked into their iPhones, but are intrigued by its new folding phones. However, the feature will be available for both iOS and Android and will work in both directions soon, WhatsApp said.
A user’s entire chat history is end-to-end encrypted on their own device, and this means that migrating chats including voice notes ran into technical issues. WhatsApp says that it worked with the world’s largest handset makers and operating system makers in order to make this possible.
“WhatsApp will be introducing the ability to move your entire WhatsApp chat history — including voice notes, photos, and conversations — in a seamless and secure way if you choose to switch mobile operating systems,” the company said in its announcement. “The feature means that people will be able to switch between the platforms of their choice, and take their WhatsApp history with them.”
“The feature will be available to users of both Android and iOS systems — which means that people will be able to switch from both Android to iOS, and from iOS to Android. It will start to roll out on Android initially, and on Samsung’s newest Galaxy phones to start. Users will be able to take their WhatsApp history from iOS to an Android device, and will subsequently be able to do the same on iOS devices.”
“Your WhatsApp messages belong to you. That’s why they are stored on your phone by default, and not accessible in the cloud like many other messaging services,” said Sandeep Paruchuri, product manager at WhatsApp. “We’re excited for the first time to make it easy for people to securely transfer their WhatsApp history from one operating system to another. This has been one of our most requested features from users for years and we worked together with operating systems and device manufacturers to solve it.”