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iMessage vs. WhatsApp: Why Apple can’t win the global messaging war


iMessage vs. WhatsApp comparison
iMessage has its advantages, but WhatsApp is a better communication tool.
Graphics: Rajesh/WhatsApp/Apple

Apple heavily pushes iMessage as the best messaging app on iPhone. However, WhatsApp reigns as the world’s most popular messaging service, with more than 2 billion daily users.

What makes WhatsApp so popular? Should you ditch iMessage and switch to WhatsApp for a superior chatting experience? Find out in this comparison.

WhatsApp’s native Apple silicon Mac app in beta gets a wider release


WhatsApp logo
WhatsApp's native Apple silicon app is one step closer to release.
Image: WhatsApp

WhatsApp’s beta Apple Silicon Mac app is now available for download to the public through its website. The company has been beta testing its native Mac app through TestFlight for the last few months.

The new app provides a notably better user experience than the existing app of the messaging service. And since it is a native app, it performs much better as well.

WhatsApp for iPhone finally getting picture-in-picture support


WhatsApp is getting some major call improvements, including support for up to 32 people group video calls.
WhatsApp's video and voice calling experience is about to get a lot better.
Photo: WhatsApp

WhatsApp is finally catching up to FaceTime and adding support for video calls with up to 32 participants. You can also mute or message an individual on a group call.

Up until now, you could use WhatsApp for group voice calls with 32 people. Video calls were limited to 8 people.

And support for Picture-in-Picture is in testing.

WhatsApp finally adds emoji reactions and features for groups


At first, WhatsApp users will have just six emojis to choose from.
At first, WhatsApp users will have just six emojis to choose from.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Looks like secure chat client WhatsApp just got a little livelier. Its long-promised emoji-based Reactions and newly developed Communities features for organizations rolled out on Thursday.

Users will have six emojis to play with to start. And in addition to new Communities, WhatsApp’s Groups functionality gets a revamp, too.

WhatsApp plans big improvements to voice messaging ‘in the coming weeks’


WhatsApp voice messaging improvements
Faster playback, the ability to pause recordings, and more on the way.
Image: WhatsApp

WhatsApp on Thursday revealed significant improvements to voice messaging across Android and iOS. The update adds the ability to change the speed of audio playback, pause and resume recording, and more.

It also allows voice message playback to continue when users back out of a conversation to catch up with another. Users can look forward to seeing the changes “in the coming weeks,” WhatsApp said.

WhatsApp tests major increase to file size limits


WhatsApp on iPad
It's still in the early beta stages for now.
Photo: WhatsApp/Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

WhatsApp could soon let mobile users send significantly larger files by message. The platform’s current file size limit is a meager 100MB, but some beta testers have seen that limit increase to a generous 2GB.

Only a limited number of users can take advantage of the change for now. But the hope is that WhatsApp will eventually make the new limit available to all.

WhatsApp now continues to play voice messages while you do other things


WhatsApp logo
WhatsApp embraces iOS 15.
Image: WhatsApp

WhatsApp for iPhone just got a big improvement to voice messaging that means you no longer have to put other replies on hold. The app now continues to play a voice message you’ve already started even if you jump into another chat.

It’s part of a bunch of improvements WhatsApp plans for audio notes, which also include the ability to replay a message you’ve recorded before sending it.

MobileTrans lets you easily transfer WhatsApp from Android to iPhone


Wondershare's MobileTrans-WhatsApp Transfer makes it easy to move the app to a new device.
MobileTrans - WhatsApp Transfer makes it easy to move the popular messaging app to a new device.
Screenshot: Wondershare

This WhatsApp transfer post is presented by Wondershare.

When you get a new device and transfer your WhatsApp account to it — let’s say you’re switching from an Android device to a new iPhone 13 — you might be surprised there’s no automatic way to do it when two different operating systems are involved.

Thankfully, MobileTrans makes it easy to do WhatsApp transfer, backup and restore operations. And it works even when you’re moving your WhatsApp chats from one operating system to another.

WhatsApp plans emoji message reactions for iPhone


WhatsApp message reactions
It looks like users will have six emoji to choose from.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

WhatsApp is readying message reactions on iOS and Android that will roll out in a future app update. Screenshots of the feature have appeared ahead of its release, showing the ability to react to messages with select emoji.

It’s much like the message reactions feature already available to iPhone users inside iMessage. WhatsApp seems to be following Apple’s lead by only making certain emoji available, rather than allowing all of them, like Instagram.