WhatsApp is finally rolling out a feature that will let users transfer their chats and messages between iOS and Android devices. The move is long overdue but will benefit users who are considering switching from Android to iPhone and vice versa.
shared the news on Twitter, noting that it’s not live in the WhatsApp beta yet, so it’s not available for anyone to try out. But if you want to migrate your chats between the two operating systems, the update will let you do so, even if you’re carrying over the same phone number.
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In the meantime, WhatsApp is also working on end-to-end encryption for backups. The feature is currently under development, and will offer the added security of password protection. If you opt for end-to-end encrypted backups, you’ll be prompted to set up a password which will be used in future instances of backups. You’ll be able to change the password or disable the feature in the app settings.
WABetaInfo notes that the password is private and won’t be shared with WhatsApp or parent company Facebook, but stresses that if you lose or forget your password, “WhatsApp cannot help you to restore an encrypted end-to-end backup” without it. That sounds like a pretty dire state of affairs, but if you find yourself in that situation, you’ll be able to create a recovery key, so no need to panic.
There’s no timeline on when this feature might arrive — only that improved iOS and Android integration will be coming as part of WhatsApp’s ongoing commitment to better. All we can do is wait, and sign up for the WhatsApp beta program on bothand.
Unfortunately the iOS beta program is full at the moment, so you’ll need to keep checking back to see whether any space opens up — though the Android version doesn’t seem to have that problem at the moment. Either way, we’ll report back when we have any more info about the update.