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whatsapp

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WhatsApp Gets Updated In The Play Store With Custom Chat Notifications And Mute, Mark As Unread/Read, New Emojis And Skin Tone Colors, More

WhatsApp has been going through multiple iterations in its "beta" channel, which gets distributed on the service's website, while its official Play Store version was stuck for several months on the same number. That changed in the past few days as WhatsApp has finally updated its Play Store listing to 2.12.250 with all of the goodies that we've been anxiously tracking over the past months. This means that all of your friends and relatives who never manually grabbed apks are now on the same page as you when it comes to WhatsApp's features.

First up, there are new emojis. This includes skin tone variations of many pre-existing emojis, which are accessible through a pop-up.

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[Update: WhatsApp Officially Acknowledges Slow Rollout] WhatsApp's Google Drive Backup Should Be Back Now And Working For (Almost) Everyone

The saga of WhatsApp's Google Drive backup option is only rivaled by the app's epic voice calls invite feature that we all had to endure for months. It's there, then not there, then it's back, only to disappear again, then wait it's hiding and only shows when it's time for a backup... but Rita, it's not working for me, and now it's gone for everyone, oh-oh look I got it with root and a few commands, and now it's on for everyone finally. We swear.

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[Update: Now Visible For All, 2 New LGBT Emojis] WhatsApp Has A Hidden Middle Finger Emoji, Here's How To Give Everyone The Bird

It's flippin' ridiculous that you can't flip someone when they flippin' annoy you on WhatsApp, isn't it? You can fist-bump, high-five, wave, thumbs up, thumbs down, and even vulcan (Spock) salute, but you can't send one of the most (rudely) common and universal hand gestures ever... Or can you?

Well, somewhere among the deluge of updates that WhatsApp has gone through in its beta iterations over the past couple of days, a new emoji snuck in.

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[OK Google] You Can Now Send Third-Party Instant Messages Using Google Voice Commands—WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, And Others

One of the nice things about sending traditional SMS messages is the option not to type them. Using the Google app (or an Android Wear device), you can just say "OK Google, send a text to Mom: Look Ma, no hands!" You can do the same through Hangouts and email. The feature is a life saver while driving, when messages would otherwise go unanswered.

Now you're able to use third-party messengers as well. Google has announced support for WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat, Telegram, and NextPlus. Just say "send a Viber message" or "send a Telegram message" in place of text or email.

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[Update: Google Drive Backup Is Back] WhatsApp Adds Custom Contact And Group Notifications, Mute, Mark As Unread, And A Low Data Setting For Voice Calls

WhatsApp has had a very fruitful and active day, going through no less than 5 updates in the span of 24 hours. The app's developers introduced a series of new options and seem to be fixing bugs with successive iterative updates from v2.12.189 to the most recent v2.12.194.

The most significant change in this series of updates is the new custom notifications settings. When you open a contact's or group's details page, you'll see a new Notifications box below the Media one. In it is the option to mute the chat for 8 hours, 1 week, or 1 year, as well as extensive custom notifications.

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[Live Long And Prosper] WhatsApp Adds Skin Tone Emojis And Spock Vulcan Salute On Android

Skin tone emojis have been a staple of WhatsApp's iOS application for a long time and have recently made an official appearance on the Unicode's version 8 update. However, if you were using Android, you could only view these emojis if they were sent by your peers (as of the app's Material update) or use WhatsApp Web to send them. There was no way to pick a skin tone modifier if you were chatting away from your phone.

That changes with WhatsApp's latest beta (either 2.12.159 or 2.12.161 will do). When you go to add an emoji inside the app, if you scroll down past the regular facial expressions to the emojis with human elements like people, hand gestures, and some activities, you'll see that most of these have a little triangle at the bottom, to denote more options.

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PSA: WhatsApp Now Lets You Search All Of Your Conversations At Once

We're not sure when this behavior changed in WhatsApp — I was able to track it down as far back as version 2.12.134 but it might have been there before — but it's worth pointing out nonetheless, if only for its boost in convenience. It used to be that whenever you wanted to look for specific words in your WhatsApp chats, you first had to select the conversation where that word occurred and then perform the search. That was useful, but only to a limited extent, because if you were looking for that restaurant recommendation from a few months ago, you might have forgotten which friend mentioned it to you.

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Touchless Chat Lets You Send And Reply To Messages On Hangouts, WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram, And More Using Just Your Voice

joaomgcd's apps are usually about pushing your phone to do more with just your voice and some Google Now command integration, and Touchless Chat is no exception. The app takes the idea of interacting with your phone via voice commands and applies it to one area where I personally wished Google Now and Wear were better: sending messages to your contacts (ie initiating a conversation instead of just replying).

There are many layers to Touchless Chat and many ways of initiating a chat with a contact, but before we get into that, you'll need to give the app some permissions, mainly for accessibility, notification access, and device administrator. That's a lot of leeway, but it's the only way the app can work, so just be thankful that it doesn't require root as well.

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[Die Holo Die] WhatsApp 2.12.87 Marches Forward With Material Design: New Calling Interface, Lighter Default Wallpaper, More

No sooner do we think we've spent a few good weeks without any major WhatsApp news than a series of updates to the app start hitting us left and right. Just after the last batch of Material Design changes went live for everyone on the Play Store yesterday, we got a new "beta" of the app on the service's website (also available on APK Mirror).

Version 2.12.87 fixes some of the last remnants of Holo in WhatsApp, materializing the calling interface, changing the default wallpaper to a nicer one, cleaning up the search bar UI, and removing those pesky Gingerbread icons that were forgotten under the More menu in a chat's overflow options.

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InBrief
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WhatsApp's Material Design Officially Rolls Out To Everyone In The Play Store With The 2.12.84 Update

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