22 May 2020
WhatsApp beta received a new update recently that bumped up the version number to 2.20.117. The beta build brought usual bug fixes and improvements as spotted by WABetaInfo, it has references to two new features that have not been enabled within the app yet. These new WhatsApp features are Advanced Search and Protect Backups which currently appear to be under development.
Starting with Advanced Search, it is a functionality that will help users search through different media files quickly and easily. It will work for all types of files like photos, videos, audios, documents, links, and GIFs. It seems like users will have to choose the file type they are looking for and then enter the search query.
The next feature is Protect Backups which is aimed at helping you protect Google Drive backups with a password. It is not exactly a new feature as it was spotted in previous builds too but it seems like the team has made some progress. The report includes a screenshot of the interface where users will have to set the password (min. 8 characters, case-sensitive). It will be used for encrypting and protecting future backups.
The report further mentions, "the password is not saved in WhatsApp or Facebook servers, so if you will lose the password you cannot recover your chat history from the backup." It simply means that once the password has been set, it is solely the user's responsibility to remember it as there will not be any way for recovering if forgotten.
WhatsApp is further said to be working on a new auto-download media rule. It will automatically stop auto-downloading of frequently forwarded images, videos, documents, and voice messages once the feature becomes available. It is said that the feature will be enabled by default for all users.