WhatsApp beta update adds real security and QR codes

The next major update for WhatsApp will add some real encryption for chat history in iCloud. That's not to say that WhatsApp was necessarily unencrypted in any other way in the past, but this newest update adds a key component to the mix, specifically for iOS user. There's also a QR code element that'll soon – we can only cross our fingers and hope – be added to the system to make the sending of user details faster and simpler.

The QR code bit is a feature that's long been requested by fans and users of the platform. Per WABetaInfo, users will be able to utilize QR codes to quickly add contact list information both inside of Android and inside of iOS – both versions of the WhatsApp app. No more cut and paste!

The update code shown this week suggests that QR codes can be changed and revoked. So if you've accidentally shown a QR code on the web to someone you didn't intend to see it, you can quickly tap a "cancel" button and said QR code will no longer link to anything but an error.

Also revealed this week in an iOS beta for WhatsApp is the enabling of "encryption of chat histories hosted on iCloud, including media." This system will allow the backup of WhatsApp chat histories at different intervals – Daily, Weekly, etcetera, and you can choose to include videos or include everything except videos.

Chat Backup at the moment – pre-backup – makes no mention of encryption. "Back up your chat history and media to iCloud so if you lose your iPhone or switch to a new one, your chat history is safe." In the same beta release released this week (as mentioned above), both the original and Business Beta, code suggests that iCloud backup encryption is in the works.

We'll likely see the iCloud encryption part and the QR code scanning part in an update in the next few weeks, hopefully sooner, in the standard (non-beta) version of WhatsApp for all users.