When you switch from iOS to Android, WhatsApp will bring your chat history with you, including all voice notes, photos, and conversations. The long-rumored feature was announced today at Samsung’s launch event, and it will initially cover transfers from iOS to the company’s new Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 phones, as well as other Samsung phones “in the coming weeks.” The feature will eventually cover all transfers between iOS and Android phones, but it is unclear when it will be available for all devices.
The new feature should help address one of WhatsApp’s most vexing issues: the inability to officially transfer your chat history between mobile operating systems. If you use WhatsApp’s cloud backup feature, iOS chat histories are stored in iCloud, while Android chat histories are stored in Google Drive, which means you can only transfer your chats between phones that run the same operating system.
Instead of sending chat histories over the internet, the new feature transfers them using a physical Lightning to USB-C cable. Unfortunately, if you’ve previously transferred between iOS and Android and have two separate cloud backups, the new transfer feature will not merge them into a single chat history.
According to WhatsApp, the new feature will initially allow transfers from iOS to Samsung’s new foldables, and will then allow transfers to Samsung devices running Android 10 and up “in the coming weeks.” It did not say when the feature would be available for non-Samsung Android phones or when Android-to-iOS transfers would be possible.