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whatsapp

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WhatsApp turns chat statuses into a straight-up Snapchat Stories clone

In what appears to be a server-side update to the service, WhatsApp has announced a new "statuses" feature today that really isn't about chat status so much as it is a rip-off of Snapchat's Stories (which was earlier ripped off by Instagram last year). If you know what Snapchat Stories is, you know what today's WhatsApp update is: it really is that similar. Take a look at the video and screenshots below.

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After a few months in beta, WhatsApp's two-step verification is rolling out worldwide

After being tested in beta on Android, WhatsApp is rolling out 2-factor verification worldwide on both Android and iOS now, via a server-side update. Because WhatsApp is phone number-based, the way this works is different from other two-step processes for securing accounts.

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[Facepalm, Shrug] WhatsApp adds plenty of new emojis from Android 7.1 including professions and gender equality

Emojis, there are thousands of them and yet you always seem to be looking for that one emoji that doesn't exist yet. Did we have to wait this long to have a facepalm or crossed fingers? I guess we did. Anyway, let's skip the pointless blabber and go straight to the point: WhatsApp has new emojis on Android.

Regardless of which version of Android you're using, WhatsApp 2.17.44 beta (APK Mirror) has implemented the font images to properly display plenty of new emojis that are found in Unicode 9.0 and Emoji 4.0. If that sounds like jargon to you, you should know that in layman terms, they're all the new emojis found in iOS 10.2.

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WhatsApp's notifications now work properly on Android 7.0 and 7.1 Nougat

WhatsApp Nougat users, the time has come, the day is here — well, it was here a couple of days ago, but it was the weekend and I was busy sweeping the floors of my new apartment, so I had to delay coverage... priorities y'know. Anyway, for all of you who have been lamenting the poor notification situation on Nougat, cried over the fact that you only see the most recent message making the whole "notification" thing completely useless, things are looking out.

In version 2.17.13 beta (grab it from APK Mirror), WhatsApp has properly implemented notifications on Android 7.0 and 7.1 Nougat devices.

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The Guardian alleges that WhatsApp has a "backdoor" that could be used to spy on users [Update]

In what I am sure was on purpose due to it being Friday the 13th, some mild form of privacy panic has hit the world due to The Guardian's article this morning about a critical backdoor in WhatsApp. It postulates that, due to how encryption keys are handled when a device goes offline and messages are not sent (for whatever reason), WhatsApp or its parent company Facebook can intercept user communications. Meanwhile, Gizmodo has reported that this is not the case — how WhatsApp handles encryption is a feature and works as intended.

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[Update: Giphy and Tenor] WhatsApp adds GIF search through Giphy, raises maximum media sharing limit from 10 to 30

WhatsApp's ability to send GIFs in different forms and ways has been rolling out super slowly. First we could convert videos and share them as GIFs, then the beta app let us share GIFs saved on our devices, then the Web client added support for GIF search and insertion, and now finally the last piece of the puzzle is here: we can now search for, choose, and send GIFs from the WhatsApp app on our Android phones, no need for a separate Giphy client, the GBoard app, or to have the GIFs saved on our phones beforehand.

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WhatsApp video calls are now official, coming this week to all users

WhatsApp video calls started showing up for some users last month, but you either had them enabled on your device or you had to use root to trigger them. Otherwise, you couldn't do anything but wait until the feature went official. And now is the time.

WhatsApp has announced that video calls are going live for users across Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone devices. The rollout might take a couple of days, so be patient if the feature doesn't seem live to you just yet.

whatsapp

So how do you place a video call? When you tap the call button in any chat or any contact screen, you'll see two options for voice and video calls.

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WhatsApp enables two-step verification and can now play audio messages in the background

We've known WhatsApp would be enabling 2-factor authentication for many months now, but the functionality has only just gone live in some of the latest beta versions of the app (2.16.341 and above, maybe even earlier).

If you head over to your account settings in WhatsApp, you'll see a new Two-step verification option. Tap it to get to a screen that explains what 2-step verification is and get the option to enable it.

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Video calls are going live in WhatsApp

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps on the planet, so even small changes warrant some attention. This isn't a small change, though. This is a big one. WhatsApp is rolling out support for video calls in the Android app, but not everyone has the feature yet.

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WhatsApp's latest beta finally, finally, finally lets you send GIFs

WhatsApp's GIF support has been rumored and promised and quasi-implemented for months now. In August, we got our first glimpse at GIF support through the option to convert videos with 6sec or less duration to GIFs that could then be shared with any of your contacts. Now, the option that has been hiding in the APK for months, and that some people have enabled with a root hack, is official for all beta testers.

Version 2.16.293 beta of WhatsApp finally adds the third GIFs tab when attaching a media file from the Gallery, next to Photos and Videos. In it, you'll find all the animated GIFs that are saved on your device's storage and you'll be able to pick any one of them, preview it, append a caption to it, and share it with your contact or group.

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