The WhatsApp team of Android developers have been quite busy lately, as they have been bombarding the Android community with a flurry of cool software updates bundled with bug-fixes and loads of intuitive features.
The Material Design update, voice call feature and web client are the foremost contributions from the social-networking service that has recently added the Backup and Restore option from Google Drive to bolster the app's rising popularity.
Android Police reports that an earlier tip-off from a veteran member of the WhatsApp translation group actually hinted at WhatsApp's potential plan to enable backing up and restoring user's conversation history and media to Google Drive.
According to the translation history, it is ascertained that the new function involves backing up chat history as well as media, but not videos. However, the feature could be restricted to Wi-Fi only or used over data networks such as 3G too.
Interested WhatsApp fanatics may go ahead and explore the new Backup and Restore feature with the latest version of WhatsApp (v2.12.45) that can be downloaded for free via the APK mirror.
After you install the new WhatsApp update, you will have access to this feature via app's Settings > Chat Settings > Chat Backup, wherein a new screen shows up with the time of last backup done and a list of disabled or greyed out Google Drive Settings.
As Android Police admits, WhatsApp begins its daily backup routine sharply at 4:00am. Though it is not clear if we could change this scheduled backup time within WhatsApp settings, you can always perform a manual backup by tapping the Back up now button, which takes a local backup before transferring user data to Google Drive.
WhatsApp users should note that the backup process cannot be halted or paused once it has begun and there seems to be an inherent bug wherein the backup will automatically switch to 3G connection, although Wi-Fi is enabled on your handset.