WhatsApp data transfer between Android and iOS is finally here

Before its acquisition by Facebook, WhatsApp was considered one of the more secure mainstream messaging services around. That was thanks to its end-to-end encryption that few of its rivals offered back then. While a boon for privacy and security, E2EE also has an unfortunate drawback that WhatsApp may not have anticipated in those days. Now the Facebook-owned chat platform is fixing that flaw by allowing iPhone users to their chat history completely to Android.

The announcement took place during Samsung's Unpacked event earlier today. Although it may seem like odd timing, the phone maker was not so subtly using it as a strategy to help lower the barrier to entry in switching from an iPhone to a new Galaxy phone. While many iPhone users swear by iMessage, there are just as many or perhaps even more that live in WhatsApp.

Those won't be so keen on changing mobile platforms because they won't be able to take their WhatsApp history with them. While many messaging platforms easily allowed for backing up chats and importing them on another device, WhatsApp's key feature ironically made that almost impossible. E2EE required that data not only be encrypted but also stored locally on the device.

Fortunately, WhatsApp has made the impossible possible, and transferring chats between iPhones and Android phones is finally possible. More than just the text part of chat history, the transfer will also move photos and even voice memos from one device to another.

This new feature is theoretically a two-way street, but, for now, it all starts with transferring from iOS to Android. The rollout should happen in the coming weeks, and the only hard requirement is that the Android phone should be running Android 10 or later, just like the new Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3.