It's almost Valentine's and what more of a perfect gift could WhatsApp give its users than dozens upon dozens of brand new emojis they can use to express all of their emotions and deep feelings? Those cool drawings had been donning the WhatsApp beta for over two months but they're now ready to deck the emoji panel of every WhatsApp user through an update to the stable Play Store release of the app.
Version 2.12.441 is starting to roll out to everyone with a reorganized emoji panel and plenty of cool new drawings like the upside down face, the nerd and robot faces, the champagne bottle, the popcorn box, and more. Read More
My largest WhatsApp group has 6 members (as seen in the image above) and we can barely manage it when we're all being active at the same time. So forgive me for not being overwhelmingly excited by this new update to WhatsApp's beta channel that enables groups up to 256 members. The previous limit was 100, so if you ever wished you could grow your 100-member group larger, there are now a lot more people you can invite in on the conversation.
The change seems to be triggered by WhatsApp's version 2.12.437, though some users on this exact release aren't seeing it yet. Read More
Not to be outdone, WhatsApp today announced literally during Alphabet's earnings call minutes after it was announced Gmail had 1 billion MAUs that it, too, has joined the billion user club.
Unlike Gmail, the Facebook-owned communication service got there substantially quicker relative to its Play Store app: WhatsApp registered 1 billion installs on the Play Store in March last year, meaning it converted those installs into a billion MAUs in just 11 months. WhatsApp, of course, has also not been around nearly as long as Gmail, which makes it an even more impressive feat. Not to mention that here in the US most people have no freaking clue what WhatsApp is. Read More
Ever since its launch, WhatsApp has had two business models on paper: you pay for the app on iOS or Blackberry (that has changed a long time ago when the app went free) or you get the first year free and you have to pay $0.99/yr afterward. However, that latter model was never put into action consistently. Despite having used the messenger for more than 6 or 7 years, I was never charged once and neither have any of my friends and relatives. Whenever the expiration date approaches, we get a small pop-up telling us that our service has been extended for another year and that'd be it. Read More
Telecom operators in Brazil have been working for months to undermine the legality of WhatsApp, and now a judge in Sao Paulo has apparently agreed with the arguments. Starting at 9PM ET this evening, WhatsApp was blocked in Brazil, and will continue to be blocked for 48 hours. Mobile operators have said they will enforce the block (probably while high fiving each other). What will happen in 48 hours is unclear, but you can bet Facebook has multiple planeloads of lawyers on their way to Brazil. WhatsApp founder Jan Koum is certainly not amused. Read More
It was just a matter of time. Emojis are an intricate part of how we communicate nowadays and every OS is trying to catch up with the latest updates and additions to Unicode. iOS 9.1 added tons of emojis, Android is about to get them soon, WhatsApp followed Apple's trail on iOS and Web, and now it's ready to start rolling these emojis to its Android client.
Version 2.12.372 (followed by a likely bug fix in 2.12.373), which is released by the company for testing on its site before global rollout on the Play Store, reorganized the emojis into new categories and added dozens upon dozens of new ones, similar to what you must have seen if you use WhatsApp Web or the iPhone app. Read More
Honest companies are expected to retain their users by offering the best service they can provide and not by actively locking them in and making it hard to switch to a competitor. Google, for example, lets users easily download all their contacts, bookmarks, photos, emails, and other personal data though Google Takeout. From there, anyone is free to close their account and move to a competing service, no questions asked. Read More
Version 1.4 of the Android Wear app started rolling out late Friday. The theme of this update, at least for what's currently live, is a set of changes to the Settings screen. There are a couple of new options, but they come at the expense of the battery stats screen. A look under the hood also shows that a few other features are either live or in the works for the next Wear OS update. Read More