WhatsApp was recently spotted testing end-to-end encrypted cloud backup. According to a report, the change is being made for beta testers on both Android and iOS platforms. WhatsApp’s new update aims to protect backups stored on Google Drive and iCloud by giving users the option to encrypt them. This process adds an extra layer of security to the message history and media files stored in WhatsApp backup. The instant messaging app was separately seen redesigning the contact info section of the app on Android which may soon be available for beta testers.
WABetaInfo, a website that tracks WhatsApp beta versions, has reported that the Facebook-owned messaging app has started testing end-to-end encrypted cloud backup for iPhone users via WhatsApp for iOS beta version 2.21. WhatsApp is said to have started rolling out an end-to-end encrypted backup option for select beta testers via WhatsApp for Android beta version 220.127.116.11.
Last month, WhatsApp announced end-to-end encrypted cloud backup as an optional feature for users to make their message history and media files available on Google Drive and iCloud. The announcement came months after WhatsApp was testing the feature internally. However, the instant messaging app has not provided any specific timeline for when the option will be available to end users.
By enabling end-to-end encrypted backup, you will be able to keep your message content backed up on WhatsApp secure from third parties – including Google and Apple which offer their own cloud service for storing backups. WhatsApp also claimed that its team is also unable to access the contents of the backup which are end-to-end encrypted.
It is important to note that users are required to remember a password which they use to add a new layer of security to their backups. If a user forgets their password and loses their phone, the encrypted backup will not be restored.
WhatsApp also demonstrated the option of using a 64-bit encryption key to add an end-to-end encryption layer to the backup instead of creating a new password. However, the screenshot shared by WABetaInfo shows that encryption key support is not yet available for beta testers on Android. Gadgets 360 was not able to spot the update on the latest WhatsApp beta for Android devices.
Along with end-to-end encrypted backups, WhatsApp is testing a redesigned contact information section for Android users, where users will find existing chat, audio and video buttons just below their contacts’ profile photos. WABetaInfo has shared a screenshot to suggest the redesign. Some references to the update are said to be part of WhatsApp for Android beta 18.104.22.168, though changes are yet to be seen on the latest beta release as well.
Earlier, WhatsApp was seen working on a redesigned contact/group card interface on Android, which appears when you tap a contact’s or group’s profile photo from your chat list. That card also included chat, audio, and video buttons below a contact’s or group’s profile photo.