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Buried within Samsung’s latest Galaxy Unpacked event was some big news: WhatsApp was finally making it possible to jump from iOS to Android with all of your messages in tact. If your message library has been holding you back from switching phones, this is an exciting announcement, but you’ll need to be moving to a Samsung phone to do it.
Currently, WhatsApp users can sync their conversations to a new device using Google Drive backups on Android and iCloud backups on iOS. If you’re upgrading from Pixel to Pixel or iPhone to iPhone, this works without any major hiccups. If you’re looking to jump ship to another platform — whether it’s to or from Android — this update will allow you to do that without losing all of your messages, voice notes, and photos.
— Will Cathcart (@wcathcart) August 11, 2021
However, it’ll take some time to come to all users. In partnership with Samsung and its Smart Switch app, the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 will be the first devices that support transfers. So, if you’re currently rocking an iPhone and either of today’s new foldables has your interest piqued, you’ll be able to carry all of your data along for the ride without relying on Google Drive or iCloud.
There is some confusion on when exactly this feature will expand to all Android devices — WhatsApp itself says it’s coming to Samsung devices running Android 10 or higher in the coming weeks — but once all phones are supported, you can swap back and forth between operating systems without losing your data. According to the company, the encryption built into the app has kept a transfer function from working until this point, but collaboration between “the world’s largest operating systems and mobile manufacturers” has made it possible to avoid OS lock-in.
Thanks to leaked beta versions of WhatsApp, we’ve known this feature has been coming for a while. We’ll need to wait until it’s available for all phones to give it a shot, but if you know someone who’s dying to upgrade from an iPhone to the Galaxy Z Fold3 this fall, this is the news they’ve been waiting for.
Now appearing in iOS
According to the reliable WABetaInfo, the latest beta version of WhatsApp for iOS has the chat transfer to Android option enabled. Look for the “Move chats to Android” option in the Chats menu. It’s only available on some accounts, and as previously indicated, it may only be possible to move to a recent Samsung phone at the moment.
The feature may come broadly to Android devices at some point in the future. As of now there’s no indication that an Android-to-iOS migration feature is in the works.
Now available for Samsung phones
Just a week after the official launch of the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3, WhatsApp now supports transferring your data from iOS to Android — so long as you’re upgrading to one of Samsung’s phones. According to the company’s latest blog post, it still plans to bring support to more Android devices “soon,” though we don’t know when that will happen or what hardware will be supported.
But hey, if you’re an iPhone user who’s been dying to pick up a Galaxy S21 or Z Flip3, you won’t need to sacrifice your messages to jump ship.