WhatsApp call back, text formatting, quoted replies and more: Top features to know
WhatsApp now offers encrypted messaging for over 1 billion users but the messages are not getting completely deleted on iOS
WhatsApp is undoubtedly the most feature rich messaging app available right now. The app may not yet feature bots like WeChat, it definitely gets the basic right. WhatsApp which has over 1 billion monthly active users has been pushing lots of updates to make it a completely useful messaging app.
Early this year, WhatsApp announced that it will be completely free and expressed plans to get businesses on board to continue its ad-free funding model. The app immediately crossed 1 billion active users with almost 42 billion messages sent each day. With 1 billion active groups, WhatsApp extended the limit on group members from 100 to 256.
WhatsApp, in spite of facing excess pressure from rival services like Telegram, WeChat and Line, has managed to hold its ground by announcing exciting new features at regular intervals of time. WhatsApp knows users love emojis in their conversations and this year brought some of the emojis earlier available only on iOS and Web to Android. The app currently supports Unicode 9 based emojis.
While WhatsApp has been steadily adding features, it has not really been a clean road for the platform. WhatsApp has been a part of controversies several times this year. The app decided to end support for BlackBerry, Windows and Symbian platforms by the end of 2016 which didn’t really go down well with BlackBerry. WhatsApp ended up in a long dispute with Brazilian court which led to the arrest of one Facebook executive.
WhatsApp also successfully activated end-to-end encryption this year after prolonged battle between Apple and FBI over encrypted iPhone. With encryption by default, Apple made secure messaging available to over 1 billion users.
While encryption made messaging secure on WhatsApp, an iOS security researcher recently claimed that the app doesn’t delete your chat completely on iOS. According to Jonathan Zdziarski, the app retains traces of chats even after the user deletes them from the app. He says the messaging data is still very much exposed to anyone with physical access to the device. WhatsApp is yet to respond to that claim.
Among some other features announced voice calling has been the most important one. WhatsApp activated voice calling and recently added call back and voice mail options too. A leaked WhatsApp app also revealed company’s plan to bring video calling but that hasn’t fructified yet.
WhatsApp showed this year that it’s a product of Facebook with quoted replies feature. It’s as simple as mentioning someone while replying on Facebook. The quoted replies feature is a big deal in group messaging. With 256 members in a group, the quoted message option gives liberty to address a particular message.
WhatsApp may be going strong but forward it has to offer other options apart from the basic ones. Bringing new fonts is fine, the app should actually focus on bringing artificial intelligence. If WhatsApp has to turn great, it needs to go in the way of conversational UI like WeChat did few years back.
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