WhatsApp has supported group audio and video calls since 2018, but you have always been limited to calling three other people at one time. During times of stay-at-home orders and quarantines, that might not be enough to stay connected with all of your friends and family. An update to the WhatsApp beta channel improves that situation as it raises the limit to up to eight participants (including yourself) for the first few users, but it involves a server-side change, too.
It's been possible to watch shared YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram videos right in WhatsApp's native picture-in-picture player for a long time already, and now Netflix has joined the list of supported services. Whenever you share a link to a show or movie from the streaming platform, you and your recipient will be able to view the trailer (if one is available) right in WhatsApp.
The coronavirus pandemic, as with most major global events, has inspired a number of conspiracy theories that are in no way supported by scientific fact. Assuming COVID-19 isn't the invention of Bill Gates, another fanciful theory asserts that 5G networks are in some way to blame. It's natural to dismiss this type of tin foil thinking as mostly harmless, but things have now escalated to the point where three 5G masts in the UK have been attacked, with arson by conspiracy theorists named as the probable cause.
Misinformation spreads faster than facts these days. The juicier and the more outrageous a story is, the more likely it is to run around social networks and messaging apps like wildfire, so even uncle Gerard whom you haven't heard from in two years ends up sending it to you so you "know better." Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, and every app with a large number of users suffers from this and has been taking measures to combat this. WhatsApp is now taking a more drastic measure to stop the spread of viral messages by prohibiting you from forwarding them in bulk.
Even though WhatsApp has existed for over ten years now, the messaging app still only lets us chat with our contacts. If you want to reach out to a new person, you need to first save them to your contact list on your phone, wait for WhatsApp to sync so that new name shows up inside the app, then start a chat with them. This usually takes several minutes and could often go on for hours if the contact doesn't sync quickly.
If you want to bypass this silly restriction and immediately chat with a new contact, there are several tricks for that.
In regular times, social media is crucial in helping us stay in touch with relatives and catch up on some news. Its role has been massively amplified these days, as the world faces one of the biggest challenges we've seen in recent times. But you need to keep in mind that not everything you see online is right, and not everyone knows that fact. WhatsApp understands the role it plays in information propagation and is adding two features to keep everyone properly educated and help them spot wrong stories and facts.
After a month of testing in beta, WhatsApp's dark mode went live this week for everyone. That left professional users a little behind, as WhatsApp Business was still on the white-only interface. The app's latest update puts it back on par by bringing this promised dark theme.
WhatsApp has been testing dark mode for a little while, enabling the feature for those participating in the beta program back in January. Today, WhatsApp announced that dark mode is now ready for the spotlight (or, lack of light, we guess), and will be rolling out over the next few days.
When you think about it, WhatsApp isn't the most intuitive messenger when it comes to moving from phone to phone. You need to turn on local backups or enable uploads to Google Drive and have to remember to back up before you factory reset your old phone, otherwise you might lose your most recent messages. And from a security standpoint, these backups are a nightmare, too — in contrast to messages you send and receive, they aren't encrypted. WhatsApp is looking to change that and is working on password protection for its cloud backups.
Signal is universally praised as one of the most simple-to-use secure messaging apps and is endorsed by security experts around the world. However, the service's user numbers pale against popular alternatives such as Facebook's WhatsApp or Messenger — even Telegram has a bigger following according to Play Store download numbers. Wired reports that Signal is working hard to change that, as the foundation could raise its number of employees from 3 to 20 following a $50 million infusion from WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton in 2018.