WhatsApp made an appearance during Samsung’s Unpacked event, revealing that it would soon be possible to transfer messages between iOS and Android devices, starting with Samsung Galaxy phones.

Update: The ability to transfer messages has begun to roll out with the latest beta updates to WhatsApp.

Original 8/11: As of today, WhatsApp easily allows you to transfer messages between iPhones or between Android devices, making it easy to continue your conversations after an upgrade. Thus far, though, switching from iOS to Android, or vice versa, has meant losing your conversation history.

As reported by Engadget, WhatsApp is gaining the ability to export and import messages between devices. Starting in the coming weeks, the ability to import messages will debut on Samsung’s Galaxy phones, specifically those on Android 10 or newer. Eventually, you’ll be able to freely transfer your WhatsApp messages between phones, regardless of who made them.

In early preview screenshots shared by WhatsApp, we see that importing messages may only work when initially setting up a new device onto your account.

Importing chat history.

We need permission to restore your chats.

You will not be able to import later if you skip this step.

This was no simple undertaking on WhatsApp’s part, requiring collaboration from OS developers and phone makers to properly and securely transfer the encrypted messages, voice memos, and photos.

Our APK Insight team has seen signs of WhatsApp’s Import/Export feature in Android’s “Data Restore Tool,” suggesting it will be located at Settings > Chats > Move Chats to Android. That integration suggests Google has been putting its efforts toward making it easier than ever to switch to Android from iOS.

Update 8/16: As reported by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp beta for iOS has already begun rolling out the ability to transfer chat messages between devices. Once it’s reached your device, in the “Chats” settings of the app, you’ll find a new “Move chats to Android” option.

However, for now, the option doesn’t seem to be functional as of yet. The current belief is that it may require the “Switch to Android” app for iOS, or perhaps an updated version of Google’s Data Restore Tool on a Samsung phone. If you’re able to get the transfer of WhatsApp messages from iOS to Android to work, let us know in the comments.

Image: WABetaInfo

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Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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