| Cult of Mac

WhatsApp finally adds emoji reactions and features for groups

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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’

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

WhatsApp chief says company ‘would love’ to deliver an iPad app

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WhatsApp on iPad
Is WhatsApp for iPad looking more likely than ever before?
Image: WhatsApp/Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

WhatsApp chief Will Cathcart has revealed that the company “would love” to deliver a native iPad app after acknowledging that users have been waiting for it for a long time.

WhatsApp is one of the only major messaging platforms that doesn’t offer a tablet app for iPad or Android. But Cathcart says “the underlying technology is there” now that WhatsApp offers proper multi-device support.

WhatsApp adds support for Focus mode, notification photos in iOS 15

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WhatsApp logo
WhatsApp embraces iOS 15.
Image: WhatsApp

The latest WhatsApp update on iPhone brings a number of neat improvements for those who have updated to iOS 15. The app is now fully compatible with Focus mode, while contact photos now appear in notifications.

WhatsApp has also made it possible to pause and resume while recording voice messages. The version 22.2.75 is now available to all, though it could be a few weeks before the improvements are rolled out to everyone.

WhatsApp prepares two-step verification for desktop and web apps

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WhatsApp two-step verification
Making it more difficult for others to get into your account.
Image: WABetaInfo

WhatsApp is preparing to greatly increase the security of its desktop and web apps by adding two-step verification during the sign-in process.

Users will be prompted to create a six-digit PIN as an additional layer of protection for their account. They will then enter this when registering their phone number with WhatsApp again — like when signing in on other devices.