WhatsApp begins beta testing end-to-end encrypted cloud backups on Android, iOS: report

WhatsApp was recently spotted testing end-to-end encrypted cloud backups. The change extends to beta testers on Android and iOS platforms, according to a report. WhatsApp’s new update aims to protect backups stored on Google Drive and iCloud by giving users the option to encrypt them. The process adds an extra layer of security to message history and media files stored in WhatsApp backups. The instant messaging app was also separately spotted revamping the app’s contact information section on Android, which may soon be available for beta testers.

WABetaInfo, a website that tracks beta versions of WhatsApp, reported that the Facebook-owned messaging app has started testing end-to-end encrypted cloud backups for iPhone users through WhatsApp for iOS beta 2.21. 200.14. WhatsApp has also reportedly started rolling out the end-to-end encrypted backup option for some beta testers via WhatsApp for Android beta

WhatsApp end-to-end encryption wabetainfo WhatsApp for Android WhatsApp

WhatsApp for Android Beta identified for enabling end-to-end encrypted backups
Photo credit: WABetaInfo

Last month, WhatsApp announced end-to-end encrypted cloud backups as an optional feature that allows users to secure their message history and media files available on Google Drive and iCloud. The announcement came months after WhatsApp was spotted testing the feature internally. However, the instant messaging app did not provide a specific timeline for when the option will be available to end users.

By enabling end-to-end encrypted backups, you will be able to protect your message content saved on WhatsApp from third parties, including Google and Apple who offer their cloud service to store the backups. WhatsApp also claimed that even its team was unable to access the content of the end-to-end encrypted backups.

It’s important to note that users should remember a password that they use to add the new layer of protection to their backups. If a user forgets their password and loses their phone, the encrypted backup will not be restored.

WhatsApp also introduced an option to use a 64-bit encryption key to add the end-to-end encryption layer to backups instead of creating a new password. Screenshots shared by WABetaInfo, however, suggest that support for encryption keys is not yet available for beta testers on Android. Gadgets 360 could not detect the update on the latest beta of WhatsApp for Android devices.

Along with end-to-end encrypted backups, WhatsApp is testing a redesigned contact info section for Android users, where users will get existing Chat, Audio, and Video buttons just below their contacts’ profile picture. WABetaInfo shared a screenshot to suggest the redesign. Some references from the update are said to be part of WhatsApp for Android beta, although the changes are not yet visible, even on the latest beta.

Previously, WhatsApp was spotted working on a redesigned contact / group card interface on Android that appears when you tap a contact or group’s profile picture from your chat list. This card also included Chat, Audio, and Video buttons below a contact’s or group’s profile picture.

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