WhatsApp just got a huge upgrade with these new features

WhatsApp just got a huge upgrade with these new features
(Image credit: Sergei Konkov\TASS via Getty Images)

WhatsApp's newest beta version reveals two overdue features are on the way: A content-based, advanced search filter and the option to password-protect message backups. 

The Google Play Beta Program recently received beta version Android 2.20.117. According to WABetaInfo, this update catches the Android beta up to iOS, which already revealed Advanced Search's useful powers. 

Advanced Search lets you sift through your WhatsApp message archive by content type to find what you're looking for. Whether it's an old link to recipe, killer meme, voice recording or video clip, the feature will narrow down your search based on the file's format. 

It works much like Gmail's new 'search chips', letting you add a content filter to any text-based lookup. 

Along with Advanced Search, Android users will soon have the ability to secure their data catalogs using Protect Backup. When you attempt to run a message backup, you'll see an option to add a password to encrypt future saves. 

The password used for Protect Backup will not be stored by Whatsaspp or Facebook, WhatsApp's parent company, meaning it's less likely your archive can be hacked. But it also means you better remember your password once you've set it, if you want to see your backup again.

There's no indication when Advanced Search or Protect Backup will make their way to the masses of WhatsApp Android users. If you're interested in trying out this beta version for yourself, you can sign up here to become a beta tester. 

Keep in mind beta versions can be buggy, so it could be worth waiting for the next official WhatsApp update if you rely on the chat app to stay in touch.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.