Another day, another WhatsApp misstep. The messaging service, which has invaded tech headlines over the past weeks for all the wrong reasons, has made one more boo-boo, this one though arguably a lot less significant than everything else. The app's latest update causes it to disappear from the Google Camera's nifty social sharing menu. I know, it's minor — why else would I use "boo-boo" in a serious article?

The issue first showed up in early January and we spent some time digging into it, wondering if the Google team was abandoning WhatsApp and slyly denouncing its new privacy-invasive terms. However, switching to older versions of the Google Camera APK —even going back to the original v7.1 that introduced the feature — didn't cause WhatsApp to reappear among the social sharing apps. We suspected it could be a total nuke executed server-side by Google, but that seemed very, very extreme.

Then we found out that someone had pin-pointed the issue to the WhatsApp app itself: those using the beta version of WhatsApp couldn't see it in the Camera's shortcuts (v2.21.1 and above), and those on the stable version could (v2.20.206 and below). Uninstalling the beta and reverting to the stable version brought back the app and all was well with the world.

That is until v2.21 (APK Mirror) started rolling out to the stable channel over the past few days, dragging that problem along with it to all users, who are understandably confused about the change. The shortcut was one of the quickest ways to share a photo you just took on your Pixel with your WhatsApp contacts.

Left: WhatsAppRight: No WhatsApp. (Image: 125bobby)

We don't know if this is an intended change on WhatsApp's part (and if so, it'd be with questionable motives) or if it's just a bug that slipped through the cracks. It's likely the latter case.

While we wait for more clarity and a potential fix, if this shortcut is something you rely on and don't want to lose, you can try uninstalling WhatsApp and manually grabbing the older v2.20.206 APK and installing it. Then make sure you disable automatic updates for the app on the Play Store.

The bug has been fixed

9to5Google noticed that WhatsApp has now returned to the Google Camera's social sharing shortcut list. We verified this on our end as well. You either need WhatsApp v2.21.2.18 or above (APK Mirror), or the latest Google Camera v8.1.200 (APK Mirror). Any of these should fix the problem.

WhatsApp Messenger
WhatsApp Messenger
Developer: WhatsApp LLC
Price: Free
  • Thanks:
  • Armando,
  • Patrick