For the longest time, WhatsApp has been using end-to-end encryption for the chats exchanged. This makes it impossible for any third party or intruder to intercept the messages being exchanged. However, the backup chats that WhatsApp collects and stores into the cloud had no such protection. This literally meant any intruder to intercept these chats for wrongful use. However, with the latest beta version for Android, the feature to encrypt chats to the cloud is being tested.
Apparently, users can now upload the backup of their chats to the cloud with all the media files with end-to-end encryption protocol used on chats previously. Apart from that, users will have to set a password to access those encrypted backups or risk permanently losing them.
You need to set up the password when shipping backups to the cloud. Next time when you want to restore the chats from the cloud, simply enter the password, and bingo, it is done. WhatsApp also has an encryption key that users need to set and that can be used to unlock these chats as well. However, as mentioned by WhatsApp, there’s no way to restore chats if the user forgets the password and the encryption key.
This feature should make WhatsApp more secure as no party involved including Google, Apple, WhatsApp, and Facebook can intercept those chats. Android users can install WhatsApp Beta v188.8.131.52 to test the feature or wait for its public rollout that is imminent although the date hasn’t been confirmed yet.
Apart from that, WhatsApp is also testing out a feature to use the instant messaging app on the desktop without using the ‘smartphone’ or the ‘main device’ acting as a median. This is what the process looks like today when you need to access WhatsApp on desktop and you need the smartphone connected to the internet to do so.
Note that the feature to simultaneously use WhatsApp on another device without connecting to the main device is available on WhatsApp Beta albeit for a limited number of users only.