WhatsApp at Samsung’s 2021 Unpacked event formally announced a much-needed new feature allowing users to transfer their chat histories between Android handsets and iPhones.
- WhatsApp chat transfer will initially hit Android phones
- It should reach users in the coming weeks
- The feature is coming to iOS customers at a later stage
WhatsApp brings iOS-Android chat transfer to Samsung phones
The new chat transfer option will debut on Android, starting with Samsung phones running Android 10 or newer. The feature will become available to iPhone customers at some point after it’s rolled out on Android. Aside from chats, the transfer includes photos and voice memos.
According to Engadget, WhatsApp had to overcome a number of technical challenges to make cross-platform chat transfer a reality. Similar to iMessage, WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted. They’re only readable on the sender’s and recipient’s devices. These security requirements meant that WhatsApp had to do some “additional work” that didn’t just involve WhatsApp itself, but OS developers and phone makers.
The Facebook brand has been working on the much-needed chat transfer option between iOS and Android for quite some time now. In fact, WhatsApp chat transfer has been in testing with a small percentage of users since April 2021. This would make it simple to retain your WhatsApp chat history when switching between platforms. The feature was conceived to move chat histories, call logs and transcripts between iOS and Android.
WhatsApp backup and restore: iPhone vs. Android
Currently, Android users can transfer their WhatsApp chats and other data to a new phone by restoring their WhatsApp backup from Google Drive or a local backup. On iOS, WhatsApp backs up data to iCloud. This makes moving chats between your old and new iPhone a breeze.
Restoring a Google Drive backup on Android requires using the same phone number and Google account that you used to create the backup, as per the WhatsApp Help Center.
With the new chat migration option, however, people will finally be able to move their WhatsApp chats freely between the iPhone and Android devices without having to start from scratch or jump through hoops to get it done.