WhatsApp is finally adding one its most requested features - the ability to transfer full chat history when you move between iOS and Android.
However, the functionality will initially only be available if you want to switch from iPhone to Samsung. All Galaxy phones running Android 10 or later will be supported, including the newly-announced Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3. WhatsApp has indicated that the feature will be available for more handsets (including iPhones) in the future, but it's not clear when.
The lack of cross-platform data transfer been a strange omission from the world’s most popular messaging app until now. The main sticking point as been the cloud storage service of choice - iOS uses iCloud while Android relies on Google Drive.
Indeed, according to The Verge, moving data between them will still require a physical connection via a Lightning to USB-C cable. Backing up to the cloud after transferring chat history will simply overwrite the existing data – there's no way to merge backups from iCloud and Google Drive into one.
Upon announcing the feature, WhatsApp Product Manager Sandeep Paruchuri added: "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. 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."
Let's hope it's rolled out to plenty of non-Samsung phones in the near future.