WhatsApp needs no introduction. It's the world's most popular instant messaging service, and for all its security flaws, privacy issues and annoying invite systems to get new features, we love it. As a show of appreciation for WhatsApp and AndroidPIT readers, we've decided to chalk up a list of WhatsApp tips and tricks to get the most out of it.
Send private messages in bulk, BCC-style
Privacy on the internet is becoming a hard thing to hold onto, but even the famously unprivate WhatsApp has a few features that let you do things on the down-low. Want to send out a group message without everyone in the group seeing who else received that message, then seeing every subsequent response to the message? That's what the 'Broadcast' feature is for, and using it is simple:
- Tap the Options icon at the top right (three dots).
- Tap New broadcast
- Enter the names of all the contacts you want to send your private message to.
- Tap Create, write your message, then send it.
Hide 'Last seen', profile photo and status
Getting thrown into a big group chat filled with party guests and people you don't know can be bewildering. Suddenly, your profile picture is staring back at a chatroom full of strangers, who can also see your status and when you're reading messages. If I want a whole flock of strangers ogling and judging a photo of me, I'll go on Tinder. In the meantime, here's how to have better control over who sees this information on WhatsApp:
- Tap the Options icon at the top right of WhatsApp
- Go to Settings > Account > Privacy
- Go through the Last seen, Profile photo, and Status options, then set their visibility to Everyone, My contacts or Nobody - depending on how privacy-obsessed you are.
Mute annoying group chats
We've all been in that position where we've somehow been dragged into a group chat that we either a) Didn't really want to be in in the first place or b) Don't want to receive notifications from every couple of minutes. Rather than just leave the chat, which may be offend some people, you can simply mute the chat so you stop receiving notifications from it. Everyone's happy!
- In WhatsApp, tap the Chats tab
- Tap the group you want to mute.
- With the group open, tap the Options icon at the top right
- Tap Mute, then select the amount of time you want to mute the group for. You can also untick the Show notifications box to never hear from the group again until you decide otherwise.
Create a homescreen shortcut for your favorite chats
Do you have certain friends with whom you have constant stream-of-consciousness conversations, where you're non-stop WhatsApping all day, every day? If so, then you can create a shortcut icon to those conversations which will appear on your Android homescreen. This means you can jump straight into chats with your BFFs, important groups, and other things nice and easily.
- In WhatsApp, tap the Chats tab.
- Tap and hold the conversation you want to create a shortcut for.
- When the list of options appears, tap Add conversation shortcut
- A shortcut displaying your contact's profile picture will now appear on your homescreen. Tap it to jump straight in and start chatting to them.
Recover deleted messages
Most people feel pretty precious about the messages going to and from their devices. Thankfully, by default WhatsApp backs up your messages every day at 4am. This means that if you've deleted any precious messages since that time, but before the next auto-backup, then you can still recover them. To do this:
- Uninstall WhatsApp from your device (Settings > Apps > WhatsApp > Uninstall).
- Reinstall WhatsApp.
- Type your phone number into WhatsApp, then it should notify you that it's found a backup of your chats.
- Tap Restore to get your deleted messages back.