WhatsApp hacks are what you need to make your smartphone smarter. Not only will they make your messaging experience way, way cooler than it already is, these tips and tricks will also make your phone a more productive piece of tech. So what better place to start organizing work and play than on the app that you (probably) end up opening the most in a day? If you do, you are certainly not the only one. WhatsApp has become an integral part of life in India. Anybody with anything above a feature phone is most likely on the app. As of February 2018, WhatsApp has 1.5 billion monthly active users, over 200 million of whom are in India. This is a statistic that has aided it in becoming Facebook’s second largest property after the social network itself. Rough 16.3 per cent Indians have access to WhatsApp, and according to the latest annual Internet Trends report from Mary Meeker, it is the most downloaded Android app in the country.
On its way to the top, the WhatsApp seems to have rendered SMSes obsolete. But the messaging app has also graduated beyond just text messages. It lets you send texts, make voice and video calls over the internet, send images and videos regardless of whether you have an Android or iOS; and does it all for free. From work to friends to family, everybody is on WhatsApp, which means that you need to be there too if you want to keep up with them.
So if you’re a smartphone user in India, chances are that you have the app on your phone. But beyond all the features that we just listed, do you know what that little green and white icon on your screen can do? Don’t worry, we’ll teach you how to work the tech. Check out the WhatsApp hacks you need to make your life a lot easier and do some cool stuff along the way.
1. Use Whatsapp through Siri or OK Google
This trick is particularly useful when you’re busy with other things and need tech to be handsfree. Or, you know, even if you’re just too bored to type. All you need to do to make this — one of the simplest WhatsApp hacks — work is to just say “Hey Siri” or “Ok Google” — depending on your virtual assistant — followed by “Send a message to ”. You can then dictate the message you want to send to them and your virtual assistant will take care of the rest.
Apple users have the upper hand here because they can also get Siri to read out their latest unread messages. You command it saying, “Hey Siri, read my last WhatsApp message” and it will!
2. Listen to voice notes discreetly
How many times have you been unable to listen to a voice note, but you can’t hear because you’re either in office or in a public space without headphones. Well, fret no more! The next time you’re caught in this situation, simply put the phone to your ear. This will activate the proximity sensor and play the note in the built in speaker, and let you hear the note like you’re on a call.
3. WhatsApp hacks to protect your profile picture
You never know who might have your number and thus be able to view your WhatsApp profile picture. There’s no a lack of cases where images from display pictures have been used for the wrong reasons. But you can protect yourself from this menace in just two easy steps. Here’s what you need to do:
- Settings > Account > Privacy
Change your setting from Everybody to My Contacts
- This hack can also be used if you don’t want somebody you know to see your display picture. Just make sure to delete their contact from your phone first and then follow the above process.
4. Never leave a message read (and save your relationships)
If your friends are always complaining about getting blue ticks but no replies, or if you have too many unwanted people messaging you, you need to know this trick. You can simply turn off the read receipts and no one will ever see a blue tick from you again. Here’s how to do it:
- Go to Settings > Account > Privacy > Read Receipts and turn it off
5. Find out who you message the most
Know the person or group you interact with the most with one of the easiest WhatsApp hacks. All you need to do is this:
- Go to Settings > Data Usage > Storage Usage
The window will show you a ranking of chats according to the amount of data spent, along with messages or media exchanged.
6. Swipe right to quote messages
This feature is a lifesaver for when you have a bunch of messages in a line but you would rather specifically reply to an individual text. Simply swipe right on the message you want to reply to and WhatsApp will let you quote it, giving you the reference point you need.
7. How to different fonts on WhatsApp
This is a really cool trick, especially if you want to convey the tone of your message. Here’s how to start using different fonts:
- Bold: Enter your text between two asterisks (*).
- Italics: Enter your text between two
- Typewriter: Enter your text between ` ` ` on either side. To find this symbol, press down on the single inverted comma and pick the last symbol on the left.
- Strikethrough: Enter text between two tildes (~)
8. Use WhatsApp to convert videos into GIFs
You don’t need any other tech to convert your videos to GIFs as long as you have WhatsApp. Here’s what you need to do:
- Go to any chat and try and send a video.
When you select the video from your library, it will open the video-editing window.
- Crop the video length to five seconds and switch the icon on the right from video to GIF.
9. Save images from your phone to your computer without cables or emails
There are times when you need to send something from your phone to your computer (or vice versa). Sure, you could email it. Or airdrop it. Or Bluetooth it, WeTransfer it or even use a USB cable. The possibilities are endless with the kind of technology we have today. But if you want to cut down on effort (and of course you do), login on Whatsapp Web and send the file you need either on a chat to yourself, or to any trusted contact, and voila!
10. Prioritise communication with starred messages
This little WhatsApp hack will make important messages easy to locate. If there’s a message that is important to you — particularly if it is one that you will need to get back to — simply hold it down and add a star to it. You can find it easily anytime by:
- Go to Settings > Starred Messages
11. How to hide a chat on WhatsApp
If you neither want to see someone’s name in your recent messages nor risk their chat window popping up when you open your phone in front of other people, there’s a way to hide chats on the app. You don’t have to delete their chat altogether. There’s a way to just not see it for a while. All you need to do is swipe right on their chat and press the ‘Archive’ option that shows up. You can later locate this chat easily by just going back to your Archived messages (by swiping down). If you want to move the contact back to your recent chats, either use unarchive or simply send the person a message.
12. Add effects to your images without using external apps
You can now add text, emojis and scribble on pictures before you send them to somebody. Here’s how to do it:
- Open a chat, go send a picture, select one from your gallery, and the editing window will open up.
- You will see all the effects and image editing tools you can use before sending the picture.
This is also particularly helpful when you want to pinpoint something in the picture (read: screenshot) by circling or underlining it.
13. How to delete messages on WhatsApp
You may have heard about this, thanks to the massive uproar it caused when the feature was released. Now when you send a message to someone that you don’t want them to read, simply hold down the message, and select Delete For Everyone. But be warned, you can only use this feature within seven minutes of sending a message.
This, of course, is not full proof. You may have deleted the message but people can still read your deleted messages using third party apps such as social notification history.
14. Stop Whatsapp from sharing your data with Facebook
If you’ve watched one too many episodes of Black Mirror, are seeing your Facebook feed fill up with ads of the things you were discussing on Whatsapp, and are freaked out by it, we have the WhatsApp hack you need:
- Go to Settings > Account
- Uncheck the box that says ‘Share my account info’.
For those of you who can’t see it, your information is already not being shared.
15. WhatsApp hacks to create your own notes on the app
If you are somebody who likes to keep writing notes to yourself, or jotting down ideas for later, this one is for you. It’s also one of the most easy to implement WhatsApp hacks on this list. All you need to do is make a group with somebody first. Then remove them from the group, and you will become its sole member. You can post notes, pictures of something you’d like to remember or any recording on the group that you’d like to get back to. This way, everything you need is in one handy place and you don’t have to keep switching between different apps.
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