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Three fixes for some annoying “features” in WhatsApp

Sterling Keys
4

WhatsApp is one of the more popular chat services available for mobile devices. It’s cross-platform, easy to use and set-up, and a great way to stay in touch with friends and family. Today, we delve a little into the workings behind the popular App and bring you three fixes to some annoying "features" that the app has. 

whatsappgoogle
WhatsApp may be ridiculously popular, but there's always room for improvement. / © WhatsApp

Hide your “Last Seen Timestamp”

One of the nice things about Android is the ability to modify the behavior of almost anything in the system. While the iOS version of WhatsApp has some advanced settings that allow users to disable the “Last Seen Timestamp” from their chat, this isn’t readily available for the Android version. Luckily, it’s still possible to hide this if you choose to do so. Great for wanting to check messages but not really let people know that you’ve jumped online. Just follow these instructions:

  • Download and Install Not Last Seen app
  • Open the app and enable “Block Last Seen”
  • Open WhatsApp, you’ll notice that your data connection turns off.
  • Read and send your messages and close WhatsApp
  • Data connection will automatically re-enable and send the composed messages.

There is a manual work-around as well where you can disable your data and Wi-Fi before opening up WhatsApp. Basically, it’s the same principle as above, but you have to manually do the work.

  • Disconnect data and Wi-Fi.
  • Open WhatsApp
  • Read and Send messages and close WhatsApp
  • Reestablish data and Wi-Fi. WhatsApp will automatically sync without updating your last login time.

Disable Auto-Image download

While this is a super handy feature when sharing media with your friends, sometimes it’s not always the best idea to have it download automatically. Sometimes I’m near my data limit and just want to check my chats without downloading excess stuff or just not in a great coverage area. Here’s a way that you can disable WhatsApp from auto-downloading pictures.

Uninstall the previous WhatsApp version present on your device. If you are concerned about losing your chats, it’s better to back up them. For this, check out our previous article on how to do so or simply head over to WhatsApp –> Move onto settings –> Chat Settings –> Backup Conversations.

  • Download and Install WhatsApp+
  • Open WhatsApp Plus app from app drawer. It’ll note that you have backed up chats saved and can restore them (if you did so above)
  • Now, open Settings and move onto Chat settings.
  • Uncheck Auto-download images.
whatsapp2
Once installed, WhatsApp+ has a ton of options to customize your experience, including disabling auto-downloading of images. / © http://gizmostorm.com/

Voila! All done. Images won't auto-download anymore and you've got all the spiffy features of WhatsApp+ along with the normal functionality of WhatsApp.

Share and Send any File

As is, you can only share image, audio and video files via WhatsApp. But what happens if you have a PDF file that you want to send a friend? Also, before sending off any media, WhatsApp compresses it, so if you’re sending a high-res photo of something, it’ll be significantly downgraded before they get it.

In order to combat these limitations and be able to send what you want, you can get an App called CloudSend. It does require a Dropbox account to work, so if you don’t have either, head on over and download both.

Once you have CloudSend all set-up, you can launch the application and grant it access to your Dropbox account. It won’t take control of your entire Dropbox account, just asking permission to set-up an extra folder in which it’ll use to upload and share files

Once that’s done, head over to the file you want to transfer, tap it, and select Share. Once the file has been uploaded (depeneding on size and transfer speed), you’ll get a notification that it’s ready to share and you can use the link provided to share with WhatsApp, e-mail, SMS, etc.

cloudsend
Once completed, you can share any file you upload across multiple options./ © Google Play Store

A similar app, Send It, uses Google Drive instead of Dropbox in case you prefer that.

Well, that's all we've got for now. Do you have any other tricks and tips for tweaking WhatsApp? Please share with us if you do!

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Comments

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    Kris Carlon Jul 9, 2013 Link

    Brilliant! You rock Sterling!

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  • Philipp Junghannß (My1) Jul 9, 2013 Link

    Not bad but you didnt link wa+ xan you do this. And don't tell me giyf, better a nice link here than a scam on Google...

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  • Sterling Keys Jul 9, 2013 Link

    Wow. My apologies Philipp. I've edited the article to have a direct link to WhatsApp+.

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  • Philipp Junghannß (My1) Jul 10, 2013 Link

    no problem.
    Good apps are often taget of scam, see BBM

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