WhatsApp Beta v2.20.117 hints at Advanced Search feature and new auto-download rules for frequently forwarded messages
WhatsApp is the most used instant messenger in the world, catering to well over two billion users worldwide. The number of messages exchanged on the platform every day is unfathomed and a big share of these messages comprises multimedia like GIFs, photos, videos, documents, etc. Naturally, going back and searching for previously shared media can be a really taxing process. The facebook-owned company recognizes this agony and may soon launch an advanced search feature to ease it. In addition, WhatsApp is also expected to be working on password protection for WhatsApp chat backups to Google Drive and remove the auto-download option for frequently forwarded media.
WhatsApp beta recently got updated to v2.20.117 and it fixes random crashes due to a missing library called “libcurve25519.so.” Other than this fix, WhatsApp is also working on an advanced search feature under the hood, revealed WABetaInfo. The feature will let you use tags such as Audio, Video, Documents, Links, GIFs while looking for an item sent or received during a chat.
The advanced search feature complements the current chat search option limited to only text messages currently. It has already been spotted on the WhatsApp beta on iOS, although its first reference was seen at least a year ago.
Backup password protection
Another feature that WhatsApp is working on is password protection for chat backups on Google Drive. While the online backup is encrypted, Google Drive is vulnerable to attacks by miscreants online. Based on WABetaInfo‘s description, you can create a password with at least 8 characters to lock the backup. The password will reportedly be not synced with the WhatsApp account or saved on Facebook’s servers. So if you set a password, you’ll have to note it down somewhere.
WhatsApp is also trying to curb excessive forwarding on the platform. It just announced restrictions on forwarded messages in India to just one chat at a time and could soon disable auto-download of frequently forwarded images, videos, documents, and voice messages.
All of these features are under development and might make it to the final beta and eventually stable builds based on how useful the development team and users find them.