WhatsApp is finally addressing one of the biggest problems with its chat histories: the inability to carry them over when you switch platforms. The Facebook brand has used Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event to introduce the option of importing your WhatsApp chat history between Android and iOS. It'll initially reach Android phones, starting with Samsung phones running Android 10 or newer (including the new foldables), but it'll eventually be available on both operating systems.
The transfer includes photos and voice memos, and should reach users in the "coming weeks."
The implementation was difficult, according to WhatsApp. As the messages are end-to-end encrypted and stored on-device, migrating them demands "additional work" from WhatsApp, OS developers and phone makers. It took a collaborative effort to enable transfers like these, in other words.
It's not surprising that WhatsApp would announce the news at Unpacked. Samsung is clearly hoping this will rope in iPhone users who were hesitant to lose their WhatsApp histories when switching to a Galaxy phone. However, this will also be useful for people switching to iPhones, or anyone worried about losing an important conversation thread when they hop from one platform to the other.