WhatsApp Tricks: The most useful and the least known

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We present what we believe are the most useful tricks to use WhatsApp to the fullest.

WhatsApp is the messaging platform born almost ten years ago that has seen a whirlwind growth year after year. Rivals like Telegram have additional features, but to date, most users continue to use the application acquired in 2014 by Facebook with a $ 19 billion maneuver.

As of January 2019, WhatsApp boasted 1.5 billion active users while Telegram around 200 million. Facebook Messenger is credited with 1.3 billion active users, followed by WeChat (nearly 1.1 billion), QQ Mobile (800 million), Skype (300 million), Snapchat (287 million), Viber (260 million), and LINE ( 194 million); source: Statesman.

Below we offer you a collection of ideas and suggestions to make the most of WhatsApp. These are interesting but often unknown topics even to those who use the messaging app daily on mobile devices and desktop PCs.

19 tricks to better use WhatsApp and WhatsApp Web

1) Use WhatsApp Web as if it were a normal Windows application

When working on a desktop PC, notebook, or convertible, constantly grabbing your smartphone to read incoming WhatsApp messages wastes a lot of time and makes it much less productive.

One possible solution is to use WhatsApp Web. In this way, WhatsApp will be accessible from an open tab in the browser, and you can reply to messages from the PC keyboard.

Chrome users can turn WhatsApp Web into a desktop application, with its icon in the Windows taskbar. The procedure to follow is illustrated in the article How to transform web applications into desktop programs.

Since Chrome shows notifications about messages received via WhatsApp in the lower right corner of the screen, you can temporarily ignore the less important ones (thanks to the preview of their content) and continue your work without too many distractions.

2) How WhatsApp backups work The WhatsApp

App installed on the mobile device automatically creates a local backup of the information managed regularly. The best way to not miss any messages and multimedia files sent to your contacts or received by them is to activate the backup on Google Drive.

To do so, just refer to the WhatsApp settings, choose chat, then Chat Backup. By tapping account, you can select the Google user account on which to create the WhatsApp backup.

The steps to follow are illustrated in the article How to backup WhatsApp: tips and tools to use.

While until “yesterday” the space occupied on Google Drive was scaled from that available on the cloud within the user’s account, Google and WhatsApp have agreed to change this approach. From 12 November 2018, WhatsApp backups will no longer take up space on Google Drive. In other words, the space available to each Google user on the company’s cloud servers will not be affected by the size of the WhatsApp backup archives.

3) What is the use of sending messages to yourself on WhatsApp

Not everyone knows that with WhatsApp, you can also send messages to yourself. Unlike Telegram, which integrates this default functionality, in WhatsApp, it is necessary to act cunningly: by creating a group with the participation of a single user (yourself), it is possible to quickly exchange texts, images, videos, documents, and archives between smartphone and PC (and vice versa).

4) File formats that can be shared through WhatsApp

Concerning the previous point, it is interesting to note that it is possible to send WhatsApp texts, images, videos, and files of different types.

Until recently, users who wanted to exchange files in formats not supported by WhatsApp used the expedient of renaming them, for example, as .txt.

Today, however, it is possible to directly send CSV, Doc, Docx, pdf, ppt, pptx, rtf, txt, xls, xlsx, apk and zip files as explained in the article Share any type of file with WhatsApp.

5) Select emoticons and emojis “on the fly” using the colon

In the mobile app, when entering the name of an object, WhatsApp often shows the corresponding emoji. However, the functionality is susceptible to improvements.

In WhatsApp Web and the WhatsApp desktop app, you can type: (colon) followed by the name of the icon you are looking for. Example:: jib, bird, bike. This way, you will quickly find what interests you.

6) How to use multiple instances of WhatsApp Web on PC

It is possible to use only one instance of WhatsApp Web on PC. By opening the application in another window, the one in which WhatsApp was used will be automatically closed.

Suppose you want to manage WhatsApp installations on multiple smartphones or a dual SIM device. In that case, you can open multiple instances of WhatsApp Web using an incognito window of the browser ( Incognito, when to use it? ).

A further solution – especially for those who run a business or company – is to use WhatsApp Business, which is managed as a service in its own right.

7) Is it impossible to send videos to WhatsApp contacts? How to compress videos

Sometimes you may not be able to send a large video captured with your smartphone to WhatsApp contacts. The video objectively weighs too much, and the expedition seems tiring.

8) Read WhatsApp messages in the car as soon as they arrive

When driving the car, it is good to “forget” your smartphone to avoid any kind of distraction. However, suppose you want to make sure that incoming WhatsApp messages are automatically read by the phone or, better still, played with the audio system installed in the car. In that case, you can install a special application and follow the advice given in the article How to read SMS, messages, and Android notifications in the car.

An even more immediate tool to use while driving is Android Auto:

Android Auto: what it is and how it works.

The Google application allows you to read incoming WhatsApp messages through the voice synthesizer. Even by saying Reply aloud, it will be possible to reply without ever putting your hand on the phone.

9) Share your position on WhatsApp or go back to that of others

To share your geographical position, in real-time, with other WhatsApp users, simply touch the icon depicting a small paperclip, then select a location and, finally, choose to share the current location. We talked about it in the article How to share your location in real-time from Android.

If, on the other hand, you want to estimate the position of others, you can use a trick which consists in sending a sort of “shortened link” to reveal the public IP of the WhatsApp user and geolocate it. The procedure that can be applied is illustrated in the article Finding your own and others’ IP address, as in the paragraph Finding the IP address of others using email, Facebook, WhatsApp, or other communication tools.

10) Copy WhatsApp photos, images, and videos to PC

To quickly transfer photos, images, videos, and other types of files from WhatsApp to PC, one of the most useful tools is, once again, WhatsApp Web: in fact, just open the web application on the desktop system or notebook, click on the name of the contact, in the right panel on his “avatar” or profile picture then on Media, links, and documents in the right column.

Alternatively, you can install the Google Photos app on your mobile device and request an automatic backup of the WhatsApp images and videos folder: Copy images and videos from WhatsApp to PC.

Once the backup is complete, simply access this page on your PC to download photos and videos of interest.

11) Send photos on WhatsApp at maximum resolution (identical to the original version)

The application automatically compresses the photos that are transmitted via WhatsApp to the various contacts in such a way as to reduce transfer times and the amount of data consumed.

To send photos on WhatsApp at full resolution, just tap the paper clip icon, choose Document and Browse other documents.

At this point, it will be enough to go to the folder containing photos and videos: by doing so, they will be transmitted in the original version without applying any type of compression.

More information in the article sends photos on WhatsApp at the highest resolution and quality.

12) How to export WhatsApp chats and all multimedia files received

If you need to export, in the form of a text file, all conversations with a specific contact or any chat started on WhatsApp, with any contact, it is possible to follow the instructions.

13) Transforming voice messages received on WhatsApp into text

Another useful expedient is the one that allows you to start a voice recognition activity in WhatsApp to transform the voice messages received through the application into text.

This is an interesting feature for those who are not in a position to listen to a voice message from others and prefer to receive it in the form of text (however, remember that when the smartphone is close to the ear, the voice message is not played with the smartphone speakers).

In the article How to convert WhatsApp voice messages to text, we have seen how to proceed.

14) Record and listen to a WhatsApp voice message before sending it

By holding down the key depicting a small microphone in the lower right corner of WhatsApp, you know, you can record and send a voice message to the previously selected contact.

Not everyone knows that to prevent sending automatically, just drag the microphone button up in WhatsApp and start voice recording.

After the recording is complete, instead of sending the voice message right away, press the Back key on the mobile device to exit the chitchat.

Returning to the same chitchat, it will be possible to easily listen to the message again and trash it if it is not to your liking (icon on the left depicting a red trash can).

15) Write messages on WhatsApp more quickly with Gboard and activate voice recognition when necessary

Using WhatsApp, it is good to have a keyboard installed on your smartphone that allows you to type texts as quickly as possible. Among the best, there is certainly Gboard, the Google keyboard: Google keyboard, the news of the new Gboard.

If you had your hands full and could not type a long text, you can access the Gboard keyboard and then touch the icon at the top right depicting a small microphone (not to be confused with WhatsApp for sending voice messages).

By pressing the microphone of Gboard once and starting to speak, you can dictate the text to be sent via WhatsApp.

16) WhatsApp Business: what it is and how to use it

To meet the needs of professionals and businesses, WhatsApp launched the business version of the messaging app at the beginning of 2018: WhatsApp Business at its debut in Italy: what it is and how it works.

Using a dual SIM smartphone will help separate personal communications (managed with WhatsApp) from business communications (processed with WhatsApp for Business): Android Dual SIM, how to choose and configure your smartphone.

WhatsApp Business can also be associated with a landline phone number, taking care to set the voice call as a user verification mechanism.

And it is precise with WhatsApp Business that the company owned by Facebook intends, four years after the acquisition, to start “monetizing”: WhatsApp Business: the new APIs, partially paid, to stay in touch with customers.

17) Delete the useless WhatsApp multimedia files still stored on the phone

This advice is coupled with the previous points 2) and 10): To avoid the automatic backup of absolutely extra elements, you can periodically use software that removes the elements that are not needed and therefore do not want to be kept.

On Android, you can use, for example, Junk Photo & Video Cleaner – Stash, which relies on Google artificial intelligence to analyze the content of all photos and videos stored on the phone by suggesting the elements that can be removed.

The app is particularly useful for lightening the folders containing photos and videos sent and received on WhatsApp. More information in the article Clean WhatsApp and recover space on your mobile device.

To find out which conversations take up the most space and, particularly, which elements are heavier, just access the WhatsApp settings, select the Data and archive usage item and choose Archive usage again.

For each contact, on the right, WhatsApp shows the total space occupied by the various conversations. By tapping on the contact name and then on Manage messages, you can remove the individual types of content exchanged over and over: messages, contacts, locations, photos, GIFs, videos, audio messages, and documents.

18) Prevent WhatsApp photos from appearing in the gallery

To make sure that the images and videos received via WhatsApp, in the various conversations, appear in the mobile device’s gallery, simply go to the messaging app’s settings, choose chitchat, and then disable the Media visibility option.

However, it should be kept in mind that the change will only affect new photos and videos downloaded from WhatsApp. Those downloaded previously will continue to be visible in the gallery of the mobile device.

Going to the WhatsApp settings, selecting Data usage and archive, and then referring to the Automatic media download section, you can indicate which contents should be automatically downloaded and saved on the phone.

You can set different preferences for mobile, WiFi, and roaming downloads.

19) Discover status messages and avatars of any WhatsApp user

When using WhatsApp, it should be borne in mind that even completely unknown users not present in their contact list can extrapolate their phone number, avatar, and the status message currently used.

An independent researcher highlighted the problem (see this page ). We discussed it in detail in our article WhatsDog and the other apps that monitor other users on WhatsApp: resource or threat.

For more information on WhatsApp Web, we suggest reading the WhatsApp Web article, tips, and tricks to use it at its best.