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whatsapp

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[Update: It's working!] WhatsApp payments now showing for beta testers in India

We've known for a while that WhatsApp has been prepping a built-in payment service for its users in India, and the beta version of the app is now showing the new payments interface. The feature plugs into the UPI (Unified Payments Interface) program that includes many of the country's most popular banking institutions.

Although not officially announced by the company yet, beta testers have noticed a payment option in the attachment menu between Document and Gallery. According to TechCrunch, iOS users have been able to make payments with the service already. Gizmo Times has tried this out on Android, but it shows a "Couldn't add bank account" error message (below right).

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Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and other apps now use the Pixel 2's Visual Core

There's one particularly exciting feature in the Pixel 2 that most people won't notice - the Visual Core. It's a custom chip (developed by Google) designed to speed up HDR+ image processing. It also enables HDR+ for third-party apps, or at least ones that choose to support it. The chip didn't do anything when the Pixel 2 shipped, but it was finally turned on in Android 8.1.

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WhatsApp adds notification channels on Android Oreo 8.0 so you can now choose what to do with each notification type

Android 8.0 Oreo introduced one cool feature for app notifications: channels. Since not all notifications are created equal, even if they come from the same app, this would allow you to choose how different types of notifications appear, sound, and vibrate, or not, on your phone. However, that created one big issue: Google didn't have a fallback in place for apps that don't get updated to support the channels, which means that you couldn't assign importance to any notification coming from the app. That, as you can imagine, was very annoying with apps like WhatsApp where you couldn't disable the permanent WhatsApp Web running notification without disabling all of the app's notifications, for example.

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WhatsApp could be ready to launch digital payments in India next month

Thanks to a government-backed platform called UPI (Unified Payment Interface), developers are able to more easily integrate digital payments for India into their apps. Google's Tez uses UPI for bill payments, and social app Truecaller added the functionality in a recent update. The country's most used messaging app shouldn't be too far behind as Facebook-owned WhatsApp could be ready to offer a payment solution based on UPI as early as next month.

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WhatsApp Business launches officially for Android in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK, and the USA [APK Download]

WhatsApp Business was officially announced in September of 2017 but back then you had to sign up for a beta, register your interest, and hope to be picked to give it a try. Now the app is made official and it's launching for Android in 5 countries to begin with, with a roll out "around the world" in the coming weeks. The lucky five are: Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK, and the US. Yes, the US, where everyone says they don't use WhatsApp. I also find it odd that the launch post mentions how businesses in India and Brazil rely on WhatsApp a lot for their communications, but then these two countries aren't among the list to get it first.

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[Update: Labels too] WhatsApp Business adds support for quick replies

Last year, WhatsApp released a business-focused version of its massively-popular messaging app, aptly-called 'WhatsApp Business.' It has a few unique features, like landline phone number support, messaging statistics, and other minor changes. Now the app has been updated to support quick replies.

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Messaging app imo passes 500 million downloads

The instant messaging app imo has crossed the threshold of a half-billion Play Store installs, and there's a pretty good chance you've never heard of it.

imo was launched by former Googlers way back in 2010, and its claim to fame was offering an instant messaging platform that gathered all of your other messaging accounts in one place. That included AIM (RIP), Skype, Facebook, Google Talk, and yes, even MySpace.

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Google is investigating Pixel 2 XL voice messaging bug affecting WhatsApp, Allo, and Telegram

The Pixel 2 XL has suffered from several issues since its launch, both hardware and software-related, just like pretty much any other consumer product of its kind. The latest bug to come to light is a curious one that affects the sound output level of a voice clip sent via a messaging app. According to a number of users on this Pixel User Community thread, this issue is limiting the volume level when recording voice messages on the Pixel 2 XL.

When you send a voice clip recorded on a phone suffering from the bug, the recipient gets a message with very low volume, even when their phone is turned up all the way.

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WhatsApp users sent an impressive 75 billion messages on New Year's Eve

I enjoyed a calm New Year's Eve dinner with my family this year, but as expected, my phone didn't experience it as such. Messages were streaming in every few minutes from friends, groups, acquaintances, and even random people I had once briefly talked to who seemed to still have my number in their contacts and were now mass-messaging their entire contacts list. The messages, as always, were coming through WhatsApp, our go-to communication platform in Lebanon.

Turns out we/they weren't the only ones. Obviously. WhatsApp has recorded over 75 billion messages sent using its service on New Year's Eve (12 AM – 11:59 PM PST on December 31).

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[Update: It's official] Deleting messages on WhatsApp for all recipients starts rolling out

Message recalls have been rumored on WhatsApp for months now and every couple of weeks, we got a glimpse of the functionality in a beta version but it was always a false alert and never properly worked. Now the option appears to be going live, with a slow rollout to more and more users.

Message deletion for all, i.e. message recalls, lets you remove a message you sent from a conversation and it won't just disappear from your end, it'll also go away on the recipient(s)'s phone.

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