WhatsApp has reportedly started dropping support for unlimited chat backups to Google Drive for users who signed up to receive the popular messaging app’s beta update. The platform will no longer offer free cloud storage to users on Android smartphones – unlike users accessing WhatsApp on iOS. While the change currently affects beta testers, the Meta-owned messaging platform is expected to end free Google Drive storage for all Android smartphone users in the coming weeks or months.
MySmartPrice reports that WhatsApp has started rolling out support for unlimited chat backup to Google Drive for beta testers on Android. The app will display a banner under the app’s settings Chat > Chat backup Users are informed that the changes will be effective within 30 days The change may roll out to testers in batches — Gadgets 360 was unable to reproduce the message on WhatsApp for Android after updating to the latest beta version from the Play Store.
Last November, WhatsApp and Google announced that the companies were stopping unlimited chat backup via Google Drive for Android users. The change was supposed to roll out to beta testers in December and to all users in the first half of 2024, according to a timeline provided by the messaging platform.
Beta testers who are affected by the change will see a banner informing them that chat backups have a month to start counting against their Google Drive storage quota. The updated storage policy comes five years after WhatsApp and Google offered unlimited chat backups that don’t take up space on Google Drive — the company offers 15GB of free storage for all accounts, compared to 5GB each offered by Apple and Microsoft. Free cloud storage.
This isn’t the first move to limit access to free storage on Google’s cloud services In February 2022, three years after the phones’ launch, the company stopped supporting unlimited “original” photo backups for Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL owners. The company dropped support for unlimited and free photo backups for all users in 2020, saying at the time it had over a billion users with 4 trillion uploads and 28 billion weekly uploads from users.
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