WhatsApp has upgraded its chat service with new features to allow users to send files of any type. The beta version of the feature was available last month, and now, users can download the stable version from the Play Store and App Store.
What the new WhatsApp update includes
WhatsApp started as a simple chat app, and at that time, it had no file-sharing capabilities. Though earlier updates allowed users to send documents, it was limited to formats such as csv, ppt, txt, doc, etc.
Now with this new WhatsApp update, it will be easier to send pictures and files of any format. In addition to the file-sharing feature, users will also be able to alter the message format within the application. To do so, the user needs to tap and hold the text and choose from bold, strike-through and italics, notes BusinessToday. Further, just a swiping up will bring all their photos and videos onto the screen for easy upload.
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Until now, users did not receive the same quality of pictures when sharing them on WhatsApp. However, the new WhatsApp update has made it possible to send a picture in the same resolution it was taken in. Even though the new update supports the exchange of all types of files, the size of the file shared should not be over 100 MB, and for Web client users, the limit is 64MB.
On the media-sharing front, if the user receives images or files in bulk, they will go into a folder instead of showing up individually like before. A change has also been made to the voice calling interface. Now an upward swipe is all that’s required to receive a call on WhatsApp.
It seems all these changes have been made in order to give the messaging app a more sophisticated look and feel, notes IBTimes. To access the new features, one needs to download the latest version of WhatsApp, after which no third-party app will be required to upload an apk file to share it with WhatsApp contacts.
No privacy updates
WhatsApp has been consistently updating its new features with perfection. Recently, the chat app started supporting photo filters and albums on iOS, Instagram Stories-inspired statuses and also the video calling feature. As of now, WhatsApp has a user base of 1.2 billion, and every day, more than 50 million messages are exchanged on the platform.
WhatsApp has, however, not received any privacy updates, even after being criticized by the Electronic Frontier Foundation for potentially allowing governments to snoop in people’s private messages, notes The Independent. The privacy watchdog stated that users are expecting companies to be transparent on how the government is using their data.
Although companies are making efforts to meet those expectations, there are still many that lag behind when it comes to adapting best practices around transparency or that are not very keen to support user privacy, the group said.
Referring to Amazon and WhatsApp, the group said, “While both companies have adopted industry-accepted best practices of requiring a warrant for content, publishing law enforcement guidelines, and publishing a transparency report, and while we applaud both companies for advocating for reforms to overbroad NSA surveillance, these two companies are not acting as leaders in other criteria that we examine.”