WhatsApp has released beta app updates for both Android and iPhone users, and these updates offer hints on developing features. The Android app beta version 2.19.332 hints work on two features, one that shows blocked contact notice in the chat, and another that groups blocked contacts into different categories. WhatsApp for iPhone app beta version 22.214.171.124 brings all the redesign elements, including profile photo logo, some icons, and even read receipts. References of the new multi-platform system have been found in the latest WhatsApp for iPhone beta as well.
Starting with the WhatsApp beta 2.19.332 for Android, features tracker WABetaInfo reports that WhatsApp is developing a new feature that will show in the chat when you have blocked or unblocked a contact. Every time you block a contact, WhatsApp will add a bubble in the chat reporting “You blocked this contact. Tap to unblock.” The same happens when you decide to unblock a contact. The tracker notes that this bubble will be added in your chat only, and the contact you have blocked won’t be notified about it.
Another feature spotted in the latest beta is the ability to segregate your blocked contacts into categories. This feature will automatically group your blocked contacts list following a specific criteria, which means all your business contacts will be moved on a different section. The tracker says that the new arrangement will be automatic, and that you won’t have to manually set a contact as Business, WhatsApp will learn which contacts are businesses and they will be moved in the second section. Of course, this change will be introduced in your Blocked Contacts only. Both the above mentioned features are still under development that means they won’t show up even if you are on the latest beta.
Coming to WhatsApp beta 126.96.36.199 for iPhone, WhatsApp has redesigned the Splash Screen adding references to Facebook. The same logo has been implemented in WhatsApp Settings as well, redesigning the old footer. The tracker notes that the redesigned footer may not appear on the Splash Screen, for some users.
The latest update also brings a redesign of few elements, and the most notable ones include different cell animations, redesign of read receipts, chat icons, and more. Some instances of the rumoured multi-platform system were also spotted in this update. To get access from a second device to a WhatsApp account, WhatsApp needs a registration code. This code will be sent to the main account used on the primary device, and will splash a warning. WhatsApp notifies now when someone requires a registration code for your account. This will enable a more secure way of using the multi-platform feature whenever it gets released in the future.
This update also brings a redesigned image that appears when a contact has not added a profile picture and for groups without a group icon. This image now resembles the one that exists in the Android app. Furthermore, Dark Theme was spotted to be in development in this latest update. Two shades of the dark theme were spotted, one with a slightly lighter tone than the other. The latest update shows two shades of the dark theme enabled in the chats list. The tracker notes that the darker theme will be the default theme that WhatsApp will use. The user will be able to switch to the second configuration modifying the device accessibility settings.
WhatsApp Launches New ‘Together at Home’ Sticker Pack for Coronavirus Lockdown Chats
WhatsApp has introduced a new sticker pack called ‘Together at Home’. The instant messaging giant has partnered with World Health Organisation (WHO) to create these new stickers to reflect the feelings and emotions that people across the globe are going through at the moment. These new stickers will be available in the English, Hindi, and a host of other languages. WhatsApp introduced stickers two years ago, and since then it has become an important tool of expression on the social platform.
The new sticker pack is called ‘Together at Home’ and it aptly reflects all the moods during this period of staying indoors. It has a sticker that shows a man with a laptop wearing pyjamas depicting the new norm of ‘work from home’. WhatsApp promotes social distancing through stickers that depict an ‘air high five’ and ‘group video calling’. There are stickers inside the pack that show a man binge-watching a series on the bed, another man doing yoga with his dog, reminding people to wash hands, people catching up in balconies, and a female snooping on neighbours using binoculars. There are stickers that celebrate medical heroes as well as personal heroes during the COVID-19 crisis.
The “Together at Home” sticker pack is available within WhatsApp, and can be downloaded for free. It is currently available in English as well as text localised for 10 languages – Arabic, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. With this new sticker pack, WhatsApp looks to offer more ways to stay connected during the pandemic.
The company has been working on improving the WhatsApp experience recently, especially as more as more people stay and work at home. The latest beta has doubled the group calling limit from four to eight on WhatsApp, and now that it has been enabled for both Android and iOS users, the stable rollout should follow soon.
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Two Billion Users — Connecting the World Privately
We are excited to share that, as of today, WhatsApp supports more than 2 billion users around the world.
Mothers and fathers can reach their loved ones no matter where they are. Brothers and sisters can share moments that matter. Coworkers can collaborate, and businesses can grow by easily connecting with their customers.
Private conversations that once were only possible face-to-face can now take place across great distances through instant chats and video calling. There are so many significant and special moments that take place over WhatsApp and we are humbled and honored to reach this milestone.
We know that the more we connect, the more we have to protect. As we conduct more of our lives online, protecting our conversations is more important than ever.
That is why every private message sent using WhatsApp is secured with end-to-end encryption by default. Strong encryption acts like an unbreakable digital lock that keeps the information you send over WhatsApp secure, helping protect you from hackers and criminals. Messages are only kept on your phone, and no one in between can read your messages or listen to your calls, not even us. Your private conversations stay between you.
Strong encryption is a necessity in modern life. We will not compromise on security because that would make people less safe. For even more protection, we work with top security experts, employ industry leading technology to stop misuse as well as provide controls and ways to report issues — without sacrificing privacy.
WhatsApp started with the goal of creating a service that is simple, reliable and private for people to use. Today we remain as committed as when we started, to help connect the world privately and to protect the personal communication of 2 billion users all over the world.
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Facebook Owns Top Four of the Most Downloaded Apps of the Decade
Despite courting controversies for couple of years like data privacy scandals and anti-market practices, Facebook and its family of apps have dominated as most downloaded apps of the decade — with main app Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram grabbing the top four spots in the top 10 apps of the decade list. According to data analytics platform App Annie, Facebook has dominated the mobile space representing the four most downloaded apps of the decade (the 2010-2019 period).
“Communication and social media apps are consumer favourites, accounting for 7 of the top 10 apps by downloads this decade,” said App Annie.
Other most downloaded apps of this decade were Snapchat (fifth), Skype (sixth), TikTok (seventh), UC Browser (eighth), YouTube (ninth) and Twitter (10th) on the list.
In terms of top 10 apps by all-time consumer spend, video streaming platform Netflix topped the chart, followed by Tinder and Pandora Music.
“Tinder was the most successful dating app of the decade in terms of consumer spend, coming in second place in the overall ranking behind Netflix,” said the report.
Others in the top 10 apps in the consumer spend list were Spotify and HBO Now, among others.
Subway Surfers was the most downloaded app game of the decade, driven by its strong adoption in India which accounted for over 15 percent of its all-time downloads (iOS & Google Play combined).
Games like Clash of Clans, Monster Strike, Candy Crush Saga were the top 3 apps by all-time consumer spend.
“Clash of Clans and Candy Crush Saga stand out as the only two apps to appear on both the top apps by downloads and consumer spend lists. Monster Strike, Puzzle & Dragons and Fate/Grand Order rounded out the top 5 apps by consumer spend for the decade,” said App Annie.
With a 5 percent increase in downloads, and 15 percent growth in consumer spend (excluding third-party Android) year-over-year in 2019, this trend is set to continue in 2020.