WhatsApp back in April started testing backup and restore options for chat history and media via Google Drive. The feature was then spotted by multiple users; though it was removed shortly after. The Google Drive backup option however seems to have finally made the cut to the latest WhatsApp for Android v2.12.194.
The feature was reported by users on the latest WhatsApp for Android version who noticed a notification from WhatsApp at 4am (which is the default time of chat/ media backup) asking for permission to access the Google Drive folder. Android Policehowever points that the option for backup can no longer be found in WhatsApp settings and can only be seen in Drive’s Settings > Manage Apps where the list shows WhatsApp.
To recall, the Google Drive backup feature was earlier found in the app’s Settings > Chat Settings > Chat Backup. On tapping the backup option, the app requested users to enter a Google account to backup/ restore files to. Users could change the frequency of backup messages and media from daily, weekly, or monthly. It also gave app users the option to turn off auto-backup. Next users could choose to backup using Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi and cellular data. Notably, WhatsApp has a default 4am set time for the auto-backup process. It is not yet known if WhatsApp will bring back the detailed setting page within the app.
It’s worth noting that the most recent version (v2.12.194) of WhatsApp for Android is yet to reach Google Play (which still features v2.12.176 in India) and thus, users will have to wait a bit for these features. Those who can’t wait can head to WhatsApp’s page to get the latest update.
Some of the other features that the latest v2.12.194 WhatsApp for Android brought include ‘mark as unread’ feature, alongside custom notifications, among others. The custom notifications settings for individual contacts or groups can be found in a contact’s or group’s detail page just below the media box. The notification setting box included options to mute chat as well as a new custom notification option. The feature lets users to select custom options for tones, vibration length, popup notification, and others. The mark as unread feature allows users to mark a chat as unread by just tapping and holding any conversation. Notably, the mark as unread feature doesn’t switch the status for sender and only makes changes at the receiver’s end. The feature can be useful in case where a user wants to come back to a chat at a later time. WhatsApp for Android update also added low data usage option for voice calls, which can be useful at locations where there is limited connectivity.