WhatsApp Update Brings Rich Text Chats, Google Drive & OneDrive File Sharing & More
If you’re on iOS and Android, you would have noticed frequent updates from WhatsApp, with every new update bringing in something new to the service. Only recently they had launched PDF sharing through the service, and were planning to introduce video calling as well.
Under competitive pressure from other players in the industry, WhatsApp has now released some more features to enhance the way we chat and communicate online.
Stress upon your conversation using Bold and Italics
Firstly, the users will get an option to ‘Bold’ and change the letters to ‘Italics’ in the chat itself. Both the features intend to highlight the dialogue in the chat box.
To bold the chat, just put the text between two asterisk and it will get highlighted the moment you send it. For example, if you wish to bold ‘New Delhi’, just type *New Delhi* and press enter.
In a similar way, to italicize the text, put the text in between two underscores( _ ) and it will do the job. For example, if you want to italicize ‘New Delhi’, just type _New Delhi_ and the text will tilt to the right slightly. Both the forms together have not yet been seen to work but upcoming WhatsApp update will have it.
There is a slight change in the notification panel as well. The sender’s name comes in Bold, which highlights the sender as compared to the text message and makes it easier to read. Must say this one was a more needed update as compared to ‘Bold’ and ‘Italics’.
Send files from Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive as PDF
The document sharing feature which was rolled out a couple of weeks back only supported stored PDFs on your smartphone. The new update will add option of sending files stored on your online drives as well directly to the other person, provided he/she has the same version of WhatsApp.
The good thing is that while having the option of sending existing PDF is already there, one can also send Google Docs and Sheets converted into PDF, which might limit the functionality. But we’re not complaining, as long as their is some form of document sharing, it is always worth it.
Unless WhatsApp plans to add more functionality in document sharing, then we’re talking about a completely different scenario. PDFs ensure encryption and relatively more secure as compared to other documents, so it seems fair to start with PDF sharing.
One small annoying thing as of now is that you can’t share .doc, .docx, .xls and .xlsx files through this feature, which makes it limited to just two formats discussed above. I am hoping WhatsApp has thought this through and will support other formats as well, since they are more popular.
Backup progress percentage display
A very small and insignificant update in the new version brings the progress percentage bar during backing up of your chats.
During backups, the user will now be able to see the progress of upload to the cloud, a very small update but can definitely save some time on our end. The percentage bar will also display the time remaining till completion.
Are these updates worth waiting for?
To be very honest, except for document sharing, there is nothing groundbreaking that WhatsApp has announced. But, considering their 1 Billion user base, even a small change makes a difference.
Other chat services have gone as far as introducing features to add 5000 members in one chat group, while some have introduced video calling service as well.
The document sharing feature isn’t too polished either and does not support many formats yet. It is better to wait for an update in another 2-3 months when things have smoothened a bit.
However, if you are adventurous type, you can go ahead and download the Beta version from here to experience the updates first hand.
While Whatsapp may lack features that their competitors have, they are sitting pretty on 1 billion users, and that’s something that others can’t replicate too easily!!