WhatsApp Updates Its Android App, Allows Users To Pay For A Friend


WhatsApp has rolled out the 2.11.186 update to its Android app. First spotted by Android Police, the update provides new privacy settings for profile photo, status and “last seen.” The latest WhatsApp also brings camera shortcuts for a quick picture sending and many UI improvements. To enjoy the updated features, you have to install the latest WhatsApp update (2.11.186) from the Play Store. Once the app is updated, you’ll see a new privacy settings feature in account settings. You can hide “last seen,” your profile photo and status from select people or from everyone, or even those who are not in your contact list.

WhatsApp will now show unread messages on the home screen

The update for Android will also provide an option to display unread messages on the home screen for a phone running on Android 3.0 or higher. You can now add large video thumbnails in chat. There will also be an option to save/share group icons and profile photos. With its growing user base in Asian markets, WhatsApp has now enabled Hindi language support.

But the most interesting feature of the update is allowing users to pay for their friends’ WhatsApp subscriptions. The service is free for the first year. WhatsApp charges a $1 annual fee from the second year onward. Now Android users can pay for their friends’ WhatsApp subscriptions even if their friends use other platforms such as BlackBerry, iOS, and Windows Phone. It’s a move aimed at keeping users tied to its service.

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WhatsApp fixes several bugs

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) recently purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion. But privacy advocates have opposed the deal because WhatsApp has strict pro-privacy and no-advertisement rules. But the rules may change after its acquisition by Facebook. The latest update also fixes several bugs, including the voice note recording volume bug in Galaxy Note 3, and the flag emoji bugs on Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) smartphones.

We should expect more new features in the future as WhatsApp tries to stand out from the competition. The mobile messaging company will add a voice calling feature in the second quarter this year.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares rose 0.85% to $72.64 in pre-market trading Tuesday.