By Dave Avran
October 31, 2017
LAST week we listed eight Whatsapp tips and tricks. This week we continue with another seven.
9) Send messages with your voice
If you’re busy cooking, eating or driving, replying to messages can be a real drag. But thanks to Siri on iOS and the Google Assistant on Android, you can reply without touching your phone.
How: Just holler “Hey Siri” or “OK Google”, say “send a WhatsApp to Jonny” and you can dictate your message about missing Jonny’s wedding because of the earthquake that hit your home. We must however, discourage you to whatsapp while driving.
10) Send public messages privately
If you’ve got a generic announcement to make – an invite to a weekend BBQ or an intervention about your friend’s unhealthy obsession with KFC – and you don’t want to do it on the loudmouth platform that is Facebook, this feature works in pretty much the same way as bcc-ing people in an email.
Your recipients will get the message as if it was a privately composed one, oblivious to the fact that you’ve sent the exact same invite to 342 other people. Sincere much?
How: On the top-left-hand corner of your WhatsApp Chats window, just below the search bar, you’ll notice a Broadcast Lists. Tap on it for the option to create a new list of contacts you want your message to go out to, and message away like you would normally.
11) Stay selectively notified
Not all group chats are created equal, as some are filled with nothing but nonsense.
It’s exactly those group chats you want to ignore until you get some downtime to sieve through everything that’s been said.
On the flipside, there are the group chats you want to stay on top of, such as the ones deciding dinner plans for the night with your hot date.
How: Go to the relevant group chats, tap on the name to bring up Group Info and then Custom Notifications. Select a custom message alert for the group chats.
All you have to do now is remember which alert tone you assigned to which group chat. This customisation is only applicable for group chats though.
12) Back it up
Worried about losing a year’s worth of messages? You don’t have to. WhatsApp knows how precious your chat history is to you and secures it all for you in the cloud.
How: iPhone users get the option of backing their chat history to iCloud automatically on a daily/weekly/monthly schedule.
If it’s only selected chat histories you desire, click on the chat you want, then the user’s name and finally email conversation to yourself.
Android users can go to ‘Settings’, ‘Chats and calls’, and select the ‘Chat backup’ option, which will let you setup an automatic Google Drive backup.
The next time you install WhatsApp from a fresh device, you can simply select the Google Drive backup option at the setup screen, to have all your up-to-date messages injected into your device, straight from the cloud.
13) Save your media (and data allowance)
When you’re on a 1GB data plan, every MB counts. You don’t want to be slapped with a hefty bill at the end of the month from sending stupid shareable memes and screenshots of every little thing.
There’s a way to make sure that all that heavy-duty image sending won’t eat up what little complimentary data you might have in your plan.
How: Go to Settings, then Chat Settings and then Auto-Download and tweak the settings for how you want your received media to be downloaded. Choose Wi-Fi if you don’t want to overload your data plan.
Alternatively, you can trigger downloads manually by switching Auto-Download to Never. You can also save the hassle of having to clean up your camera roll every so often by tweaking Save Incoming Media off.
14) Tie the app to your number
If you’re overseas and you get a new data sim, there’s no need to go through the hassle of registering the new number attached to the SIM and meddle around adding contacts. Just carry on using WhatsApp with your regular number.
How: When you put your new SIM in and activate WhatsApp, you’ll be prompted by the messaging service to register the new number.
But doing so will mess up your contacts list. Just ignore the pop-up or cancel it, and your WhatsApp should work linked to your old number, while using your new data SIM.
15) Star messages
When dinner with your date rolls around, the last thing you want to do is scroll through 352 messages to find the address of the restaurant you’re meeting your latest love at. Luckily WhatsApp lets you bookmark certain messages for easy access.
How: Double tap on any message and tap on the star icon to mark it. To find it again, all you have to do is tap on the chat’s name, and tap on Starred Messages to see all the messages you’ve marked out.
To see conversation context, just tap on the arrow next to it and you’ll be brought back to the exact place in the chat.
When you’re done with it, just double tap the message, and hit the star icon again to unstar it. It’s only available for iOS users for now, so fandroids will have to wait your turn.
We’ll be back next week with the final 10 tips and tricks.