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WhatsApp for Android Adds Google Drive Backup Support and More

The WhatsApp Messenger has been gaining popularity as the go-to instant messaging service. The app can be used whether you are on an iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Nokia smartphone or on a BlackBerry, and the low subscription fee of $0.99 per year makes it an incredibly attractive option. While many are still hesitant to use the WhatsApp Messenger due to lack of features, the team with WhatsApp is dedicated to increasing the service’s functionality for its user base.

Continuing in this trend, the WhatsApp team recently gave the WhatsApp for Android application a number of new updates, including the ability to archive your personal text messages directly to Google Drive backup. At the time of this writing, however, the overall functionality of the Google Drive backup is anything but complete.

At this point in time, the WhatsApp’s ability to archive text messages to your Google Drive is only available when WhatsApp performs its automated, local backups. This process will prompt a notification of a failed backup, and the user must give WhatsApp the proper permission to access Google Drive. Once that is done, WhatsApp will automatically backup your text files during its regularly scheduled local backups.

Text messages aren’t the only thing that is backed up by the new feature in WhatsApp. Any pictures sent through the text-based messenger will also be archived to Google Drive. Video files, however, will not be archived.

Additional Updates

The latest update to WhatsApp for Android includes a bevy of additional features. For example, the ability to add customized notifications for individual friends is meant to let users know who is messaging them without even looking at their phone. Notification sounds can also be muted, for anywhere from eight hours to one full year, and individual notifications, vibrations, ringtones or lights can be set for specific friends or even groups.

Users are now able to mark messages as unread, even after they’ve read them. This can serve as a reminder to re-read the message and reply at a later time or date. To do this, a user simply has to tap on that message and hold your finger on the screen until the message status changes back to unread. Note that the original sender of the message will still be able to see that you’ve received their message, even after changing its status back to unread.

Another feature seen in the latest update is meant to address users with limited data plans. Users will now have the ability to lower the amount of data that is actually used for voice calls, which will help control overall data usage. This feature will also benefit those who experience slow network speeds.

The Future of WhatsApp

Nobody can say for certain what the future of WhatsApp holds. However, given the highly affordable price point and the fact that its developers are already addressing issues and releasing updates, it’s safe to say that WhatsApp will continue to gain steam in the area of mobile-centric text messaging.


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