Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp has confirmed it is rolling out one of its most requested features — the ability to transfer chats between Android and iOS.
The company showcased the feature during Samsung’s August 2021 Galaxy Unpacked event on Wednesday.
“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.
“The feature means that people will be able to switch between the platforms of their choice, and take their WhatsApp history with them.”
Because WhatsApp backups on Android are stored on Google Cloud, and WhatsApp on iOS uses iCloud, it has been impossible to transfer chat history between an Android and iOS device.
As it stands, the only options available to users are modified third-party apps that violate WhatsApp’s terms of service or complicated workarounds that make for a risky and arduous exercise.
WhatsApp said the feature would initially be rolled out to Android devices, starting with Samsung’s Galaxy phones, with iOS to follow.
Transferring chat history from an iOS device to a Samsung Galaxy device will require using the latter’s Smart Switch app.
Smart Switch lets you migrate files, messages, calendars, accounts, and settings from various Android and iOS smartphones and tablets to Samsung devices using a wired or wireless connection.
However, users currently still have to back up their WhatsApp chats on the old device and then redownload them on the new device.
With the new feature, you can move your WhatsApp history along with everything else in Smart Switch.
To do this, you will have to connect your old iPhone with the new Samsung device via a USB-C to Lightning cable and launch Smart Switch.
You will then be prompted to scan a QR code on the old phone with your new phone and to export your WhatsApp history.
To finalise the migration, you must sign into WhatsApp on the new device and import the messages.