Google Takeout update could make transferring photos to iCloud a breeze

Starting next year, Google will be making it easier to transfer your user information to third-party services using its Takeout export tool.

This update comes at the tail end of an investigation by the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM), a market competition regulator. In total, there will be three new changes made to Google’s service. Although we don’t know exactly what the changes will be, the AGCM does mention a few things. Two of them will be “supplementary solutions” to Google Takeout, giving people a way to export their information to “third-party operators.” The third “commitment”, as it’s referred to, will “allow direct data portability from service to service.” That last one specifically relates to moving data generated from a person’s Google Search history and YouTube.

To give some backstory, back in 2022 the AGCM alleged Google had been abusing its dominant position in the tech industry to collect “large amounts of [user] data” and putting up “obstacles to interoperability” in sharing information with third parties. One of the complaints said Takeout was “extremely complicated” to use – something they claim was by design as it “discourages [people] from porting their data elsewhere.” In response, Google proposed the three features that we mentioned earlier as changes it could make to appease regulators; all of which the Authority accepted.

Expanding data portability

Regarding the direct data portability feature, 9to5Google states it sounds a lot like the Data Transfer Initiative (formerly known as the Data Transfer Project). If you don’t know what that is, the Data Transfer Initiative consists of Apple, Meta, and Google coming together to expand data portability to users. The classic example, as given by 9to5Google, is imagine being able to transfer images from Google Photos to iCloud without having to manually do anything. The companies handle all the heavy lifting. This could preserve precious bandwidth while also being much faster than downloading gigabytes of content.

It’s unknown exactly when everything in the Google Takeout update will be released, but we won’t have to wait long for the direct data portability tool. The tech giant told the Authority the feature will officially launch sometime during “the first quarter of 2024.” However, we might see it even sooner as third-party platforms can test an early version of the tool “six months before its actual release.” Possibly by October, at the earliest.

If you don’t want to wait until next year for the Google Takeout upgrade, check out TechRadar’s list of the best data migration tools for 2023

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WhatsApp just made transferring chat history so easy but there may be one big limit

WhatsApp is making it easier to transfer chat logs from your old phone to a new one just by scanning a QR code.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the initial announcement on his Instagram channel where he states this method lets you move your data privately without ever having to leave your devices.” Looking at the video he posted, you first open up the QR code on the older device, then scan said code on the newer phone. Give it about 10 seconds to finish up and you’re done. Other reports state the Chat Transfer tool can be found under the Chats section in the Settings menu.

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Compared to the old method of having to back up your history on either Google Drive or iCloud, this is a lot more straightforward. You’re effectively cutting out the middleman plus you don’t have to worry about hitting storage limits if your WhatsApp account has several gigabytes worth of media saved on it.

As great as this new feature may be, it appears there is a catch. TheVerge claims the QR code chat log transfer “only works between devices running the same operating system, so Android to Android or iOS to iOS.” If you want to move your data from, say, a Samsung Galaxy phone to an iPhone or vice versa, you’ll have to head over to WhatsApp’s Help Center for instructions on how to do so.

We asked Meta to confirm if this is true. We’ll update this story at a later time.


Meta is currently rolling out the Chat Transfer tool in waves to all its users. Be sure to keep an eye out for the patch once it arrives. No word if there are plans to add a similar feature to the desktop version of WhatsApp.

If any of this sounds familiar to you, that’s because WABetaInfo first revealed the update back in early May when it was only available to beta testers. The publication has since shown off other interesting changes coming to WhatsApp. For instance, a WhatsBeta beta on Android from late May introduces screen-sharing for video calls, which you can activate right after installation and try out with others. There are also plans to introduce multi-account support to the platform giving people a way to swap between profiles on the same smartphone.

While we have you, be sure to check out TechRadar's list of the best secure smartphones for June 2023.

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