WhatsApp features you didn’t know you had, let alone could use

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WhatsApp has the habit of sneakily delivering new features without you ever realising it.

Their latest update brings a bunch of super useful features that you need to known about, including disabling read receipts at last. Let us educate you on the other features hiding in the nooks and crannies of WhatsApp. You can thank us for our intrepid sleuthing later. As usual, we’ll take credit, not cash. 

BOLD, ITALICS AND UNDERSTRIKE YOUR MESSAGES

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Make yourself heard. But not to the point of being rude with an all caps ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME message. Instead, just bold your text to bring more attention to what you’re saying, or be a bit more subtle and italics certain parts of your message.

Also, be a little snarky and do a strikethrough when you intend to express a sorry, not sorry message to your friends.

How: to bold, add an * before and after the text, so it should look like *Hey*. For italics, add _ before and after the text, giving you _Hey)_. And finally to strikethrough your text, add ~ before and after the word, so you’ll get ~Hey~

Unfortunately, it’s only available to iOS users for now but the update should roll out for Android phones pretty soon. If your iOS-loving friends start sending you messages with *, _ and ~ mixed in, at least you know what they’re trying to do.

SEND PDF DOCUMENTS TO PEOPLE

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This isn’t exactly new but it’s high time WhatsApp added the feature. A recent update allows you to send documents to fellow WhatsAppers. But for now, there are two caveats. First, it only supports PDF documents. Second, the recepient must update their WhatsApp to the latest version, else it’ll trigger a failure to send notification.

So remember, it pays to always update your WhatsApp to the latest version.

How: For Android users, tap on the attachment icon on the top right corner of the interface. iOS users, land your thumb on the arrow up icon on the bottom left. You should see a new Document option, so go crazy and start sending PDFs to your friends.

DATA SAVINGS

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If you ever bothered looking at which apps consume the most data on your iPhone, chances are WhatsApp ranks high up there since you use it to send photos of your lunch to everyone. As if self aware of its data-hungry habits, WhatsApp has revamped its Settings tab for iOS and included a brand new option that every data cap-buster will appreciate. Called Data Usage, this is your one-stop shop for watching your WhatsApp diet.

How: Go to Settings, then tap on Data Usage. In there you’ll find options pertaining to the type of media you can receive and whether you should always only accept them on Wi-Fi, or both Wi-Fi and Cellular. If you’re dangerously close to the limit, make sure everything is only on Wi-Fi, so the next photo of your friend’s dog won’t push you dangerously nearer the edge.

Also handy is the Low Data Usage for WhatsApp calls. Make sure that’s switched to make your WhatsApp calls with better peace of mind.

CURB YOUR CALLS

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If you’re curious about how much data your calls actually take up, there’s a way of finding out.

How: Go to Recents, then tap on the “i” next to any name to bring up pertinent information on that individual including how long each call was and how much data it ate up exactly. Shocked? Good. This will teach you to go easy on the WhatsApp calling when line calls are perfectly viable options. But if you’re using Wi-Fi, go crazy.

Just make sure you’re really on Wi-Fi before commencing your gossip sesh.

STAR MESSAGES FOR EASY REFERENCE

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Sometimes you get important messages in your WhatsApp chats like the address of the restaurant you’re supposed to meet your friends at but it gets lost in all the digital chatter. When dinner time rolls around, you try to scroll through your 352 frivolous messages to find that one message that matters. With WhatsApp’s latest update, there’s now a way to bookmark certain messages for easy locating.

How: Double tap on any message and tap on the star icon to mark it. To find it again, all you have to do is tap on the chat’s name, and tap on Starred Messages to see all the messages you’ve marked out.

To see conversation context, just tap on the arrow next to it and you’ll be brought back to the exact place in the chat. When you’re done with it, just double tap the message, hit the star icon again to unstar it. It’s only available for iOS users for now, so fandroids, wait your turn.

SEE ALL STARRED MESSAGES

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Now that you’ve gotten into the habit of starring messages, you’ll realise that you can quickly lose track of how many you’ve accumulated. You no longer have to go into each chat to see if you have any starred messages within. There’s one spot to find them all.

How: Go to Settings and you will see Starred Messages right at the top. Tap on it to find all the messages you’ve wanted to note for whatever reason at that point in time. Can’t remember anymore? Tap on each one to see the chat context, and unstar them if you no longer need them.

Because nobody needs clutter, even in their digital lives.

USE WHATSAPP ON THE WEB

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WhatsApp Web is the best creation since…WhatsApp itself. It’s not an entire new feature as Android users have been enjoying it for a while, and rubbing it in the faces of those on iOS. Guess what, their gloating days are over, as the feature has been quietly rolled out to iOS, too.

How: To enable inconspicuous chatting on the web as you do your work, all you have to do is go to Settings, tap on WhatsApp Web. Then head to web.whatsapp.com on your computer and scan the QR code that appears using your phone. Commence chatting on the sly without downloading anything. Genius.

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