While the iOS users are just crashing into the WhatsApp calling party, those Android folks still have something to brag about to those folks who are on other platforms. As pointed out in an early article as of WhatsApp Android version 2.12.45 there is an option that allows users to back up their chat conversions not just to their phone memory or SD card but to Google Drive as well.
While some may feel the change to be somewhat negligible in the whole scheme of things, I and people like me will no doubt find it to be a useful and even indispensable feature.
Let me give you a background of what I am like in my personal life. I am sort of a distracted person which often means me losing and wrecking a lot of things-“an extremely and incurable train wreck” is I believe the phrase my father put it as he patted me on the back when it finally got through to him that there was very little chance of that ever changing.
This means I have simply lost a lot of phones, I would need a couple of extra hands if I was to finger count the number of times I have replaced my tablet or phone. In High School I never “finished up” any of my pens, somehow they often found a way of escaping from my hands although oddly enough all my laptops have lived well into their old age.
I have therefore enjoyed the convenience of Google Services on my Android devices. Not the least of these Google perks is the ability to save my contacts into the “Google Cloud”.
This means that everytime I replace my phone I can just go to my WiFi connection (you really do not want to let these services anywhere near your mobile data), sign into my Google Account and I can pick where I left off.
After that I will not have to offend my relatives and friends by asking “Who is this?” every time an unfamiliar number pops on my screen. I mean I only know two numbers by heart, mine and my girlfriend’s ( I value my life after all)and my Manyika relatives have memories longer than an elephant’s.
The backup option on WhatsApp has been kind of pathetic for me. I mean what was the point of backing up messages on an SD card inside the phone which would naturally be lost with the phone? The result was I had to go through the penance of asking everyone what the heck they were talking about after losing my strings. Something that never fails to offend my many relatives, especially the rural ones, who can quickly start to feel mistreated and spited.
So to me the Google Drive backup option is worth much more than the useless calling feature which has never even impressed me one bit. In fact despite the phone ringing I have never managed to successfully receive a clear call and still use the trusted Skype when talking to relatives abroad. The calling feature it seems was added so my rural relatives can keep beeping me to death.
How to get WhatsApp Google Drive back up.
- Naturally you will need to be using an Android device and although you can use a 3G connection to make the backups you might be best advised to use WiFi connection if you have one- I am assuming you have an un-metered connection and not using a MiFi device and bundles from one of the MNOs.
- Download the version of WhatsApp with this feature from here. Please note WhatsApp keeps pushing a lot of updates and the feature does not exist in the version currently on their website. As always you should only download your apk files from sources you trust.
- Open the new version of WhatsApp, go to settings>Chat settings>Chat Backup>Google Drive Settings
- Change the settings from Off to Daily, Monthly or Weekly depending on your preferences. It’s a pity there is no option to back up hourly considering how much some people love their WhatsApp.
- If you have not already set up you Google Account you will be prompted for the settings and if you have more than one, you will be prompted to choose the account you want to use for backups.
- You can also choose the option to use WiFi or 3G data for backup. Use the later only if you are very rich.
- Tap on the Back Up now button. Depending on how much media you have on your WhatsApp it might take a while to back up the data for the first time.
As already pointed out the feature has since disappeared from the latest build so I sure hope this future will be fully implemented in future for real.
It will be much more useful in my opinion than this calling nonsense that has everyone running around town looking for WhatsApp calling when it’s mostly not working for the majority of people. It’s actually working, not some antiquated pager feature that WhatsApp calling is being reduced to by people I know.
Image and Idea Credit: AndroidPolice