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WhatsApp now lets you join calls after they have started
by Paul Hill
WhatsApp has announced that users will now be able to join a group called after it has started. It said this will reduce the burden on users to join the call as it’s starting. When someone wants you involved in a group call, you’ll receive a notification that will give you the option of ignoring or joining the call. Before you join, you’ll be able to preview the participants and invitees.
WhatsApp group calls arrived on the platform back in July 2018, following their announcement at Facebook’s F8 developer conference that year. Following the outbreak of the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic last year, WhatsApp bumped the maximum number of group call participants from four to eight.
If you’ve been called but wasn’t available at the time, you can join the ongoing call by opening WhatsApp, then tapping the Calls tab. From there, tap on the call you’d like to join and review the call info screen, then tap Join. It’s important to note that only eight people can be active on the call at one time so if the places are all taken up by the time you’re ready to join, you won’t be able to.
With the need to be ready and waiting for the call removed, it should help to reduce people's stress a little bit.
WhatsApp is now rolling out multi-device support to selected users, here's how it will look
by Anmol Mehrotra
WhatsApp has been rumoured to be working on multi-device support for a while now and just last month, WhatsApp head Will Cathcart confirmed that it will start rolling out to the users soon.
Earlier this week, WhatsApp published a blog post detailing how multi-device support will work and the company has now rolled it out to selected users. In case you don't know, WhatsApp requires users to have an active internet connection in order to use the app on desktop. However, with the new feature, WhatsApp users will be able to seamlessly use the app on multiple devices without maintaining a constant internet connection. The company notes that it made changes to allow each companion device to connect to WhatsApp independently.
Furthermore, the company also noted the following limitations that will apply to multi-device support:
You cannot message/call from web, desktop or Portal to users who have an outdated version of WhatsApp on their phone Performance and quality may be affected Other minor issues Apart from that, multi-device will currently support up-to four additional devices and one phone. This means that you cannot use one WhatsApp account on two separate phones but you can use it on two separate devices like a desktop and laptop.
We did manage to get access to the new multi-device feature. Currently, for some reasons, the WhatsApp Desktop app does not work as I was unable to link it with my phone. However, I was able to go to WhatsApp Web and continue with the multi-device setup. Once you have completed the setup, you will see a 'BETA' tag on the top left corner, near your profile picture indicating you are using a beta version of WhatsApp web.
On the phone, the setup is similar to what you currently do to access WhatsApp Web. The option, however, has been renamed as Linked Devices. Once you select the option, you will be able to link your phone to a different device and use WhatsApp just like you normally do. The difference is that if you phone loses connection, WhatsApp will continue to work.
Currently, multi-device support is available for selected WhatsApp Beta users but the company is expected to roll it out to all beta users soon. Unfortunately, the timeline for the public roll out is still unknown. However, in the coming months, WhatsApp plans to roll it out as an opt-in option to a select group of users on stable version.
WhatsApp is now offering encrypted cloud backups, here's how you can enable it
by Anmol Mehrotra
WhatsApp has finally added an option to allow users to encrypt their cloud backups. The feature first showed up back in March 2020 and is finally making its way to the users.
WhatsApp has offered end-to-end encryption for chats, but the company has been clear that the encryption does not extend to cloud backups stored on Google Drive. However, with the new feature, Android users will be able to set a password before uploading the backups on Google Drive. As WhatsApp notes, encrypting the backups will mean that users will need to enter the password when restoring a backup. The company further notes that it will not be able to help in case someone forgets the password as it is not shared with WhatsApp or Google. If you want extra security, then you can choose the "Use 64-digit Encryption key instead" option which will generate a random encryption key. Do make sure to take a backup of the key as WhatsApp will ask when you restore a backup and the company can't help you recover the key if you lose it.
To use the feature, you will need to follow the steps below:
Open WhatsApp and tap on the three dots on the top right corner. Now, navigate to Settings > Chats > Chat backup Now select "Encrypt your Backups" under the 'Google Drive settings' section Tap on "Continue" and then tap on "Create Password" Now enter a password and tap on "Next". Do note that here you can tap on "Use 64-digit Encryption key instead" option if you want to use an encryption key instead of a password. Re-enter the password and tap on "Confirm" to enable encryption Currently, the feature is only available on version 126.96.36.199 of WhatsApp for Android Beta. However, we do expect the company to roll it out to all the users in the coming months. Unfortunately, there is no word on encryption backup support for iOS users.
By Fiza Ali
WhatsApp is bringing "view once" mode for its iOS beta users
by Fiza Ali
Whatsapp is working on new capabilities that are similar to Snapchat's "view once" photos and videos feature to add to its iOS app. It is also redesigning its in-app notification.
After launching the View Once feature for WhatsApp beta for Android earlier, the company is introducing the same for iOS beta users with version 188.8.131.52. as well. By employing the latest feature, WhatsApp users will be able to send photos and videos using the View Once mode for them to disappear once they have been opened. However, unlike Snapchat, WhatsApp won't tell the sender if the recipient took a screenshot or not.
Along with View Once mode, the beta version is also getting redesigned in-app notifications. This feature will allow users to see more details about the messages in the notification panel such as stickers, GIFs, videos, and images.
According to WABetaInfo:
The release date for the latest capabilities has not been announced yet, however, their availability for beta testers indicates that they are going to be launched soon.
Source and images: WABetaInfo via 9to5Mac
WhatsApp feature lets you send disappearing photos and videos, here's how you can use it
by Anmol Mehrotra
Earlier this month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and WhatsApp head Will Cathcart confirmed that WhatsApp will soon allow users to send disappearing images. This came months after the company announced support for disappearing messages on the platform.
The new disappearing media option will allow users to send photos or videos that will be deleted after they have been opened. It works similar to Snapchat and deletes the media file as soon as it has been viewed. The implementation is simple, and you can follow the steps below to try it out for yourself:
Open WhatsApp and select the contact that you want to send the disappearing media to. Select the image or video from your gallery or take a photo using the camera option in WhatsApp. Once selected, tap on the little circle tucked between the caption bar and the send button. This will set the media so that it can be viewed once and will then disappear. Unlike Snapchat, WhatsApp does not prevent users from taking screenshots so it should be used with trusted contacts only. Furthermore, the sender can see when the media was opened, even if you have turned off read receipts on WhatsApp. Lastly, the feature will still work even if the receiver has not updated WhatsApp to the latest version.
Currently, WhatsApp is rolling out disappearing media to a select group of Android beta users (version 184.108.40.206). There is no word on when the company plans to do a public rollout of the feature.