Following a brief beta period, WhatsApp has now updated its app to allow users to share any file type. This means you’re no longer limited to things like photos, videos, PDFs, and Word documents: as long as the file is under 100 MB in size, you can share anything.
The update, WhatsApp version 2.17.254, also improves the way bundled photos are viewed. Rather than seeing a column of a dozen pictures in a conversation, when multiple images are sent at once, these are now compacted into a more manageable thumbnail gallery. This can be tapped to view full-size versions of the pics.
WhatsApp has also introduced a few other minor visual changes to the app, though it hasn’t altered the way in which files are sent — this is still achieved using the attach (paperclip) button.
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Meanwhile, messaging app Telegram is still leading the pack when it comes to file size restrictions — it has supported 1.5 GB files since its launch.
The WhatsApp update is rolling out now, so if you don’t have the latest version already, you should see it pop up on your device in the coming days. Let us know what you think of WhatsApp’s latest moves in the comments.
Previous WhatsApp updates
WhatsApp update: Pinned chats feature
May 19: This feature allows you to pin up to three chats to the top of the conversation list. To do so, all you have to do is tap and hold on a chat, select the new pin icon that appears in the action bar, and you’re good to go. Once pinned, the chat will remain at the top at all times, so you won’t have any trouble finding it once you open the app. Of course, you can always unpin a chat whenever you want to and pin a different one.
WhatsApp update: Support for Google Gboard GIFs
March 17: This update added the option of sending GIFs with Google’s Gboard keyboard. Previously, GIFs were supported but only through WhatsApp’s own GIF interface. Gboard’s GIF panel was grayed out and, therefore, unusable within the app. This has now changed, which is great news for the millions of Gboard users around the world.
WhatsApp update: WhatsApp status updates
February 20: In a bid to further compete with Snapchat, WhatsApp has launched a new feature called Status. Like Snapchat Stories, the new status feature lets users share photos and videos with friends which will disappear after a short period of time. WhatsApp dropped its longstanding text-based status updates when it introduced the new format but, following user feedback, the company later reintroduced the static statuses too. Users can now use both features independently.
WhatsApp update: Two-step verification
February 10: WhatsApp users can now enable two-step verification on their accounts for tighter security. It’s not setup automatically, nor does the app prompt you to do so, instead you’ll have to go to Settings > Account > Two-step verification > Enable. Then, add a six-digit PIN and backup email address and confirm. The next time you try to set up a device with your telephone number, you’ll be prompted for your PIN code.
WhatsApp update: WhatsApp adds new emoji from Android 7.1
February 4: All the Unicode 9 emoji introduced in Android 7.1 and iOS 10.2 have now been added to the WhatsApp beta app. With gender equality and new professions, to skin tones and more anthropomorphic figures, WhatsApp has an emoji to suit everyone.