With the acquisition of WhatsApp, Facebook has not only brought on board a popular messenger, but has also gotten rid of one of its big competitors. Following the 19 Billion-Dollar-deal, many WhatsApp users have been asking themselves what changes are to be expected, especially in terms of data privacy. WhatsApp claims the deal will change „nothing“ for its 450 Million users.
No matter what functions are changing, here are six handy tips that will improve your current WhatsApp experience.
1. The WhatsApp tick: What does it mean?
Many of us know those awful situations well. You send a message hoping that your chat mate will answer straight away, but they don’t. Why is there two ticks marking that your partner has read the message? Is that really how it works?
WhatsApp explains this mysterious phenomenon on its website FAQ section: The first tick means that the message was successfully transmitted to the WhatsApp servers. The second one tells us solely that the messenge has reached the smartphone of your chat mate. In fact, it’s impossible to know whether he or she has read the message or not.
So why do so many users think the ticks are read reports like on Facebook? After transmitting the message to an iPhone, the second tick was shown, as soon as the chat mate launched WhatsApp. The iOS messenger has since become more intelligent. As of version 2.11.5 messages have been loading in the background. That means that the user will now see the two ticks almost instantly after sending the message. This has been the case for Android users ever since WhatsApp was released for Android.
2. Disable online monitoring
You can easily disable the small, telltale timestamp that reveals to your contacts when you were „last seen“. For those among you who don’t know how to get there, follow these steps:
For iOS users, open your WhatsApp preferences and select Chat settings. Go to Advanced and set your preferences under Online for the last time. This setting is only available for iOS.
Android users have to work their way around: Go to Settings —> Notifications —> Popup notification and activate „Always show popup“. Now you will received WhatsApp messages via popup notifications. To read your messages secretly, go offline before reading them.
Alternatively, Android users can go to Settings —> Account —> Privacy to select which users should be allowed to see your photo, status and when you were last seen online.
3. Forwarding messages
If you want to forward a message to another friend, you don’t have to retype it. To forward it, select the message and hold until a black toolbox appears. Then select your desired recipient and you’re done.
4. Fake your WhatsApp location
WhatsApp not only gives its users the opportunity to send messages, but also files, pictures and your exact GPS location. If you have someone stalking you online, or if you just want to fool somebody, you can fake your location. This only works on Android though. Follow these six steps:
1. Deactivate GPS-tracking.
2. Go to your phones settings —> developer options.
3. Check „allow mock locations“.
Screenshot: Android developer options
4. Now go to the Play Store and download an application that generates false locations, for instance Fake GPS location.
Screenshot: Fake GPS location in Google Play
5. Launch the application and pick a location.
From now on, whenever you send your location via WhatsApp, Fake GPS location will now send a false location to your friend.
5. Log in to WhatsApp without entering your phone number
It is possible get WhatsApp on your tablet or smartphone without entering your phone number. If you decide to do so, you will only be able to use WhatsApp via WiFi in future. All you need is landline phone number and a working WiFi network.
Normally you get a unique serial after first signing in to WhatsApp with your phone number. If you don’t want to reveal your real phone number, you can bypass this step by entering your landline number. After five minutes of waiting you will get the serial via phone call. With the received code you can then install WhatsApp according to customs.
6. Recover lost chat history
If you have lost parts of your chat history, you can recover them – at least if you have an iPhone. Apple authorizes WhatsApp to access the iCloud services. WhatsApp creates daily backups of your chat history and stores it in the cloud if you have enough space left. So don’t panic! Take a breat – you have to adjust your phone preferences in order to allow WhatsApp to store your chat history in the cloud.
Go to phone Preferences —> iCloud —> Documents & Data and check WhatsApp.