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WhatsApp 2.12.367 Goes Live In The Play Store With Starred Messages, Rich Link Previews, And Direct Share On Marshmallow

WhatsApp has been getting frequent beta updates that brought a lot of goodies to the app, and it's finally time for the Play Store version of the app to receive these. Version 2.12.367 has just gone live on the official Play Store channel and it brings with it the different new features that we've recently discussed: rich link previews, starred messages, and direct share on Marshmallow.

When you try to share any URL to WhatsApp, like YouTube links, tweets, webpages, and more, WhatsApp will parse the address quickly and give you a nice thumbnail image and title to send along with your link. That way, you can easily skim through the links that have been shared and the recipient gets to know what that page you just sent them is all about before opening it.

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Android Wear v1.4 Makes Some Minor Changes To The Settings Screen, Prepares For New Wear OS Update [APK Teardown + Download]

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.

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[Update: Direct Share Now Works On Marshmallow] Starred Messages Make An Appearance In WhatsApp, Perfect For Quickly Accessing Important Texts And Media Files

For the thousands of us who use WhatsApp daily, nay hourly, the app has become a pseudo repository for our digital lives. It has addresses our friends texted us, meeting dates, social plans, important notices from our bosses or coworkers, pictures of our kids or relatives, cute audio blurbs from our loved ones, and so much more. Although the app has a search function, that isn't the optimal way to find a specific message: you may not remember the exact words used or you may simply be looking for a media file that can't be found using the search function.

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WhatsApp 2.12.312 Starts Showing Rich Previews For Shared URLs

WhatsApp's developers are a little unpredictable. Sometimes, all it takes them is one swift update to add a ton of features, other times, they dabble painfully slowly with dozens upon dozens of beta releases until they get a small feature ready (Google Drive backup anyone?). But credit goes to them for keeping us on our toes and entertained with their small incremental updates, like this new version for example.

WhatsApp 2.12.312, which you can grab from the site's beta uploads page or from APK Mirror, has added a new rich link preview option. However, the feature is still very half-baked, so don't expect anything like Telegram's previews just yet.

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WhatsApp's Google Drive Backup Finally Becomes Official [APK Download]

If you own a smartphone and live outside the US, chances are you're one of almost a billion monthly WhatsApp users. WhatsApp may not be the most feature-rich messaging platform, but what it lacks in functionality, it makes up for in rock-solid reliability (hi, Hangouts) and virtually unparalleled market penetration (hi, Telegram). That's why WhatsApp is the de facto messaging app for so many people around the world, even if it still requires things like chat backups — something more characteristic of MSN Messenger than a modern messaging service. Fortunately, starting today (and after many months of adding and removing the feature), WhatsApp will offer to automatically back up and upload your chat history to Google Drive.

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WhatsApp Now Has Over 900 Million Monthly Users, Is So Close To A Billion It Can Almost Taste It

WhatsApp has come a long way since its origins as an instant messaging client in 2009. By this time 2013, over 300 million people were running the app, and that was before Facebook decided to pay $19 billion for the service. By the beginning of this year, it had reached 700 million.

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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. Ok, maybe. We're not sure.

We've been receiving tips since August 1st and version 2.12.214 of the app and we confirmed the presence of the feature on our devices then, but we decided to wait a few beta revisions to see if the option was sticking around this time or if it would be removed like before.

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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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