WhatsApp is reportedly rolling out a new chat transfer feature that will simplify the migration of a user’s account from one device to another. The feature, which transfers chats and attachments between two phones, appears to be limited to Android phones for the time being. However, the Meta-owned messaging platform is expected to bring the functionality to iOS users in the future, to maintain feature parity.
According to a report by WhatsApp feature tracker WABetaInfo, the company is rolling out a chat transfer feature on the latest beta version of WhatsApp for Android smartphones, which enables users to directly transfer chats from one device to another without backing them up to the cloud.
Previously, users were required to back up their chats to their Google Drive account before transferring them to another phone. Restoring chat backups via the cloud is still available to users, and the chat transfer tool has been added as an alternative option. Users can also opt to set up WhatsApp on the new device without restoring older chats.
This feature could prove to be incredibly useful for users who have large chat backups and do not want to back them up and restore them over a slow Internet connection. It could offer a faster alternative to the process of moving chats from an old smartphone to a newer one.
With this new update, there is an additional option that is seen under the Chats section. To access this, users need to go from WhatsApp Settings > Chats > Chat Transfer. The app would then display a QR code, which the users would need to scan using the device that they want the chats to be transferred to.
Currently, the feature is only available to select beta users. It is compatible with the WhatsApp beta for the Android 126.96.36.199 version, according to the report, which adds that the feature will gradually roll out to all Android users with future updates over the coming few weeks.
WhatsApp also recently announced that users can connect up to four smartphones to their WhatsApp account. But authorisation for the other devices can only be permitted by the primary handset. The authorising process is similar to that of WhatsApp Web where users will have to use a QR code to sign in. The company added that it is also working on an alternative OTP-based authentication system.