WhatsApp users who have always been keen on having a backup option for their chats and calls will be glad to know that the latest beta version of the messaging service now includes the ability to back up on Google Drive.
The new functionality works by creating a backup and restoring chat history and media in the user's Google Drive. Users are given the option to schedule the backup daily, weekly or monthly or they can back up manually.
WhatsApp says users can now back up their messages and media to Google Drive "so that if you lose your phone or switch to another Android phone, your chats are safe. We recommend connecting your phone to Wi-Fi prior to backing up your chats via Google Drive, as backup files may vary in size and may consume mobile data, causing additional charges."
Users who want to back up on Google Drive can do so by going to their phone's Settings then choosing Chats and Call before finally choosing Chats and Call before finally choosing Chat Backup. Once the feature is enabled, users will then be asked to sign into their Google account and allow WhatsApp to use their Drive storage.
WhatsApp also details the minimum requirements to use this feature. These include a Google account which should be activated on the device, installed Google Play services and enough free space on Google Drive for storing chats and media.
While some reports claim that the feature is available on devices running on Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher, others suggest that it becomes visible only after the user has removed the app and reinstalled it. According to the folks at Android Police, they have successfully tried the feature and have confirmed it to be available in 2.12.231 version of WhatsApp.
When WhatsApp 2.12.233 was released, its makers seemed to have removed the Google Drive back up feature. However, the latest beta version of 2.12.235 managed to bring back the backup option, which is now available to users.
The team behind WhatsApp is slowly rolling out the feature and is still ironing out some bugs and fixes. This explains why some users see it while others don't and some versions have it while others don't.