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WhatsApp testing chat migration between iPhone and Android — here’s how it works

whatsapp cross-platform message transfer
(Image credit: Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

WhatsApp looks poised to fix one of the messaging app’s biggest problems, and let users finally transfer their chat history between iOS and Android devices.

That’s according to WABetaInfo, which is reporting that developers are working on a new feature that enables cross-platform WhatsApp backups. Unfortunately, there’s no timeline on when this feature might actually arrive. 

WhatsApp has offered users the option to backup their chat history for several years now. However, the feature has always been restricted to devices on the same platform — leaving some of the messaging service's estimated 2 billion users to ask for a way to transfer their chats between Android and iOS devices. 

whatsapp cross device message transfer

(Image credit: WABetaInfo)

Fortunately, that feature is now in the works — as shown by the above screenshot discovered by WABetaInfo. 

It looks like the transfer can only occur when both devices are running a specific version of WhatsApp, which makes sense given that older versions of the app won't have the necessary software built in.

Though there are ways to transfer WhatsApp chat histories between Android and iOS, it's only possible with third-party tools. Such tools are against WhatsApp’s terms of service, and have led to some users being temporarily banned until they switch back to the official version of WhatsApp.

Though it's unlikely to be a feature many people will use often, it would be handy for those who do switch from Android to iOS, or anyone who uses a second phone for work.

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 multi-device support. All we can do is wait, and sign up for the WhatsApp beta program on both Apple’s Test Flight and Google Play

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.