13 September 2021
The ability to natively transfer WhatsApp chats between Android and iOS devices has been one of the most commonly requested features. It was rumored to be under development for quite some time and now, it is finally available for public use. WhatsApp made the announcement during the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 launch as the support is currently limited to Samsung devices running Android 10 or higher.
WhatsApp's native chat transfer feature covers all your conversations including voice notes and photos. However, it does not work wirelessly or through the internet. A user will need to have a Lightning to USB-C cable to be able to transfer WhatsApp chats from Android to iOS and vice versa. The feature will become available to all Samsung Galaxy users in the coming weeks.
The company says that it was difficult to implement the new feature. The team of developers had to do some extra work as the messages are end-to-end encrypted and are stored locally on the device. They also had to collaborate with device makers to bring this feature to a reality. This is probably the reason only select Samsung devices support it. There are certainly plans to expand the feature to other devices and OEMs but no specific timeline has been shared.
Sandeep Paruchuri, Product Manager for WhatsApp said:
"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. This has been one of our most requested features from users for years and we worked together with operating systems and device manufacturers to solve it."