The Washington Post reports on “a relatively young app called Beeper that pulls all your chats into one place.” This is significant, the Post argues, because “we’re better off if we have the freedom to pick up our digital lives and move on. Tech companies should feel terrified that you’ll walk if they disappoint you…”

If different people send you messages in Apple’s Messages (a.k.a., iMessage), WhatsApp, LinkedIn and Slack, you don’t have to check multiple apps to read and reply. Maybe the best promise of Beeper is that you can ditch your iPhone or Samsung phone for another company’s device and keep your text messages…

Eric Migicovsky, Beeper’s co-founder, told me that if you’re pulling Apple Messages into Beeper, you need a Mac computer to upload a digital file. All chat apps have different limits on how much history you can access in the app.

There’s also a wait list of about 170,000 people for Beeper. (Add yourself to the list here.) The app is free, but Beeper says it will start charging for a version with extra features.

To put this all in context, the Post’s reporter remembers the hassle of using a cable to transfer a long history of iPhone messages to a new Google Pixel phone, complaining that Apple makes it more difficult than other companies to switch to a different kind of system. “Many of you are happy to live in Apple’s world. Great! But if you want the option to leave at some point, try to limit your use of Apple apps when possible…”

They look ahead to next year, when the EU “will require large tech companies to make their products compatible with those of competitors” — though it’s not clear how much change that will bring. In the meantime, the existence of a small company like Beeper “gives me hope that we don’t have to rely on the kindness of technology giants to make it easier to move to a different phone or computer system… You deserve the option of a no-hassle tech divorce at a moment’s notice.”