WhatsApp, after much deliberations and dilly dallying, has finally officiated the Google Drive Backup through an apk download. Some time back, WhatsApp was found introducing and redacting the Google Drive backup feature, but this time around the feature is here to stay (apparently!).
WhatsApp has been a part of our lifestyle with hundreds of messages and multimedia exchanged every day. As of now, WhatsApp backup were stored in the form of a Crypt.8 file extension which could be accessed from the root folder. However, accessing this backup on other phones meant that you need to root the phones, since the decryption key for the backup file will be in the original device and without which the backup files are virtually useless.
WhatsApp has been topping the Instant Messaging wars with almost a billion Monthly Active Users (MAU), thanks to its simplicity and the sturdiness of the architecture. Although WhatsApp didn’t provide built in integration with Google Drive earlier, there did exist some workarounds to do the same, but again that meant additional complication for the users.
As pointed out by folks at AndroidPolice, the new backup feature thankfully doesn’t rely on Marshmallow’s backup capability and instead it piggybacks on the Google Drive API, which means that even if you are running Android Gingerbread, you should be able to use this feature.
The backup feature is available only for the WhatsApp version 2.12.303 although a newer version is available it comes with the feature disabled. If you want to keep using the Google Drive feature we would suggest you turn off the automatic updates for some time. The 2.12.303 version can be downloaded here but if you have already updated to the latest 2.12.304 version you won’t get the Google Drive backup option.
Google Backup feature seems pretty straight forward and it gives out options to set the backup frequency and the media you want to include, we would however ask you to head with caution as uploading all your media files on a limited data plan could result in bloated bills, but WhatsApp has already incorporated a toggle to decide what you want to download on cellular networks and restrict the rest till you get Wi-Fi connectivity.
Restoring WhatsApp backup has never been simple, but with the Google drive integration, the app will automatically check for a backup file on your Google drive (provided it’s synced on the device) and restore the data. There is still no option to manually export the local database to Google Drive and restore it later, which means that if the database file you uploaded on the drive is corrupted, the chances of retrieval are very slim.