5 new WhatsApp features to try out

2016-03-07 12:15
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Instant messaging service WhatsApp, which earlier this year surpassed the one billion user mark, has bolted on more features for its users.

Last week, Facebook-owned WhatsApp released updates of its Android and Apple applications.

The updates have come hot on the heels of other updates earlier this year which included expanding group chats from 100 to 256 to including a middle-finger emoji late last year.

READ: WhatsApp adds more emojis amid explosive growth

Here then are five new features to watch out for. Users can access these updates by downloading the latest WhatsApp versions from the Google Play Store or Apple iTunes.

1. PDF document sharing

Key among WhatsApp’s updates is the ability to now send documents, along with photos and audio clips, in chat messages. In its update notes for its Android and Apple iOS apps, WhatsApp said “you can now send and receive PDFs”. Apple users also have an array of ways to upload documents as WhatsApp in its iOS update said users “can choose PDFs to send from other apps installed on your phone, like iCloud Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft OneDrive (iOS 8+)”. Meanwhile, Android users can also view PDFs they’ve sent and received by tapping ‘Media’ from the contact info or group info options in their app.

WhatsApp now enables a document upload option. (Gareth van Zyl, Fin24)

2. More photo, video options

WhatsApp users, according to the latest iOS update for the app, also now have the option to “share photos or videos from other apps installed on your phone, like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft OneDrive”. In its iOS update last week, WhatsApp users can activate this option by opening their ‘Photo/Video Library’ and tapping "Choose from another app...". WhatsApp, in its update, also said that it has an “improved design for browsing photos and videos” for iOS users.

3. Zoom in on playing videos

Apple iOS users will also be able to use the ‘pinch to zoom’ feature on their phones to hone in on videos while they’re playing, according to the app’s latest update.

4. Starred message updates

Remembering your favourite WhatsApp messages is also set to become easier with WhatsApp’s update to its starred feature. Android users, with the latest WhatsApp update, are now able to “view starred messages for a given chat from contact info or group info”. An update to the Android version of the app also enables users, who are clearing chats, to keep their starred messages.

5. Solid colour backgrounds

Finally, for Apple iOS users, WhatsApp has also enabled the choice to “pick from a variety of solid colours for your chat background”.

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