WhatsApp has begun the rollout of an update for its Android app that brings a highly useful feature – call waiting. As the name clearly suggests, this features alerts users when they receive a WhatsApp call when they are already in the middle of another WhatsApp call with someone else. Rather than automatically disconnecting the second incoming WhatsApp call, users will now get an alert and can choose to either decline it, or disconnect the ongoing WhatsApp call to accept the other one. However, it must be noted that this is not the same as putting a call on hold, since two users can’t be on the same line simultaneously. The feature is now available for both Android, after being made available for the iPhone app late last month.
The latest WhatsApp update for both the beta as well as stable Android channels brings the call waiting feature. It is now available via the Google Play Store. The changelog also mentions the arrival of enhanced group privacy settings and the fingerprint unlock support for the app. We can confirm that the call waiting feature on WhatsApp is now available in version 2.19.352 of the stable Android app, as well as version 2.19.357 and version 2.19.358 of the beta app.
In case you haven’t received the update yet, you can download the stable build from APKMirror here. To recall, in late November, WhatsApp v2.19.120 for iOS brought the call waiting feature alongside a redesigned Chat screen, as well as the ability to quickly send your messages directly from the Braille keyboard when using VoiceOver mode.
How WhatsApp call waiting works?
Prior to the update, when Android users received a WhatsApp call in midst of another WhatsApp call, the incoming call was automatically disconnected and they would see a missed call notification when the existing conversation ended. But following the update, users can choose to pick up the incoming call while talking with another person.
The incoming call UI in WhatsApp now shows a green ‘End & Accept’ button alongside the ‘Decline’ button. If you press the red ‘Decline’ button, the incoming call will be cancelled and you can carry on with your ongoing call. However, if you tap on the ‘End & Accept’ button, the ongoing call will be disconnected so that you can talk to the other person.
Unlike call holding on a regular call over a cellular network, WhatsApp won’t allow you to put the second incoming call on hold and link with two people on the line simultaneously. You either choose to continue with the ongoing WhatsApp call, or disconnect it in order to accept the second incoming call.
In addition to call waiting, the new WhatsApp update also marks the wider rollout of the updated group privacy feature that allows users to decide who can add them to a WhatsApp call. You can check this out by following this path: Account > Privacy > Groups in the settings menu. The changelog of the new stable and beta WhatsApp updates also mentions the arrival of fingerprint lock feature for the app that was announced back in October. You can enable this feature by going to Settings > Account > Privacy > Fingerprint lock.
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.
Is iPhone SE the ultimate ‘affordable’ iPhone for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
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.