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WhatsApp are Testing iOS-Android Chat History Migration

WhatsApp are reportedly reportedly testing a new feature that will allow its users to easily migrate their chat history between Android and iOS devices, making it easier for those who are choosing to make the switch. This will make a great addition for users who are considering a switch from iOS to Android, which BankMyCell states is becoming increasingly common; more than a quarter of iPhone X owners moved to Android, just 7.7% of Galaxy S9 users switched to iOS in 2019.

While WhatsApp previously stated that third party apps claiming to assist users in migrating chat history across the two platforms violates its Terms of Service, the messaging platform owned by social media giant Facebook, is now planning to let users officially transfer their chat history between the two platforms.

The report that detailed the potential new feature was released by WABetaInfo, who publish information about tests they conduct on WhatsApp features in beta. They report that the new chat history migration feature will be rolled out ‘in a future update', but the exact date of release is not known, but it could arrive with multiple device feature, meaning that users will soon be able to use WhatsApp across multiple devices. Chat history migration is a feature that is part of the multi-device functionalities that WhatsApp have been working on for a while; WABetaInfo’s initial report stating that WhatsApp’s feature to sync chat history across platforms was in development was last year.

The WABetaInfo as well as an ANI report also included a screenshot of the iOS version of WhatsApp that displays a pop up requesting to upgrade the app to the latest version (where the user move chat history to another device that is running WhatsApp for Android). So while there is no official way to transfer the WhatsApp chat history between new devices at present, WhatsApp are staking strides to update and make this feature available soon for its users.

According to the report, the WhatsApp operating system needs to be updated to the latest available version via TestFlight or the App Store to ensure “any compatibility error with the Android version” is avoided. Currently when a user makes the switch from iOS to Android or vice versa, WhatsApp will transfer the account information including the profile photo, name, about section as as individual chats, group chats, and settings, although it will not migrate the chat history. So even though the app lets its users back up data via a third-party cloud storage app, it does not support chat history migration from one device to another.

It is important for WhatsApp to prioritise this update, as it’s competitors like Signal and Viber already offer this function, further, the messaging app saw numerous users move to different messaging platforms following the controversy surrounding their new privacy update.

Another report also says that WhatsApp may also potentially introduce a feature that will allow its users to use WhatsApp Web without staying connected to the internet, this was initially spotted on Android but is now reported to be under development for iOS.

What updates or new features would you like to see from WhatsApp?

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