Remember the experimental version of WhatsApp for Android that allowed users to change their privacy settings? Well it’s gone live today and that’s not the only surprise awaiting you, when you open the new WhatsApp for Android.
WhatsApp’s Android users can now turn off the ‘Last seen at’ feature, change who sees their profile picture and status updates. Users can also switch between visible and invisible statuses freely, without having to wait like on iOS.
In addition, WhatsApp finally has a homescreen widget. The widget, which spans all columns of the screen but only takes up two rows in the default mode, can be resized if that’s allowed by your launcher. It will display the unread messages in your WhatsApp inbox, but not the last read message, which might be a bit of a downer for those who prefer to read now, but reply later. Of course you can dismiss the notification from the status bar, and leave messages unread so they will still remain on the widget. The widget is only available on phones running Android 3.0 and above.
Hindi speakers in India will be glad to know that WhatsApp now officially supports Hindi as a language for the UI. To activate this, the default language on your Android phone has to Hindi, which automatically starts WhatsApp in that language. This support is only present on devices running Android 4.1 and above.
Another great feature is the quick camera access, which is like a widget on your homescreen. Press the icon and you are taken into the camera app and after clicking you can immediately send the picture to a WhatsApp contact or group. This is really handy and much faster than opening the app and getting to the camera from within a conversation.
Now you can pay for a friend or family member’s WhatsApp usage through the in-built payment tool. Video thumbnails within the chat are displayed bigger, while voice note recording has been fixed for some new phones. WhatsApp has also added support to share or save a contact’s profile picture or the group chat icon.
We’ll be going over these changes in detail, but for now you can check out the new version of WhatsApp, available on the Play Store.
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