In the olden days we used to buy things in the knowledge they would forever remain a fixed form.
The age of apps has changed all this because we expect our software to morph and change almost constantly.
WhatsApp is one of the most popular apps in the world and has a rabid audience who are always anxious waiting for it to introduce new features and updates.
Yesterday, we showed just how fastidious these users can be and told the story of how a niggling bug you might not have even noticed was driving people around the bend.
Today it’s time to pass on some good news which will delight hardcore WhatsAppostles.
The app has built up a bit of a reputation as a battery drainer, with fans complaining it was sucking up their energy like a thirsty vampire.
On Reddit, one user even memorably described it as a ‘battery leech’.
The Facebook-owned app is currently beavering away on a ‘dark mode’ which should help reduce its battery usage a bit, but it’s not available for general release.
Now the app detectives at WABetaInfo have found a clever new feature which should allow dark mode to bring even more light to your life.
It rooted through beta mode to find a new option buried in the settings.
This will let you choose between the light and dark side of WhatsApp, but also tick a box marked ‘battery saver’.
This automatically switches on dark mode when your juice is running low, allowing a few more precious moments of contact with the cruel yet unavoidable world before your phone dies.
‘WhatsApp doesn’t stop amazing us, continuing to improve with new features like the Battery Saver option’ the blog wrote.
The feature was found in a beta version of the software for Android. It will eventually be released to the public and run on every device, but it’s not clear when this will take place.
A lot of people spend an awful lot of time using WhatsApp, so it’s no surprise that small bugs start to annoy them.
The messaging app was recently found to have a slight glitch in its ‘splash screen’ – the name for the image displayed as WhatsApp is loading.
Look carefully the next you open WhatsApp and you might just notice a small line on the side of the screen.
It’s a little thing, but it irritated some users and made others think their phone was broken.
‘I thought my display was faulty,’ one person wrote on Twitter.
‘I first thought it was a bug in my Android user interface,’ another opined.
You can see the problem in a tweet below by the WhatsApp blog WABetaInfo.
The Splash Screen has a weird line (left size of the WhatsApp logo).
It’s almost invisible but if you zoom in you can notice the line. I’ve edited the screenshot, so you can see it better.
What’s it? So many beta updates for the Splash Screen, and WhatsApp has never noticed it?? pic.twitter.com/0jUZXcXriA
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) November 22, 2019
WhatsApp has fixed this niggling bug in the latest beta version of its Android software, which means a fix for iOS can’t be far behind.
Once beta testers have tried out the update, it will be released to the general public.
But some users have claimed it’s created a very weird effect and displaced the WhatsApp icon from its rightful place in the centre of the splash screen.
One WhatsApp fan posted a tweet of the bizarre problem:
— machete (@nicobriz2) November 26, 2019
WhatsApp is very quick to fix bugs, which are sometimes much more serious than a dodgy splash screen.
It recently released a patch to address a major security bug which could let hackers do bad things to innocent people.
Facebook, which owns the messaging app, has issued a rare warning about a major software glitch.
The bug lets attackers hide malicious code inside specially crafted MP4 video files.
If the victim watches this video, hackers can secretly run software which lets them carry out a denial of service attack, which stops the target from accessing the internet, WhatsApp or another service.
The boobytrapped clip can also be used to in a ‘remote code execution’ assault.
This means crooks could run a range of software on your phone, perhaps stealing secrets such as bank account details or using your device to target other people.
The bug affects Android users running versions of the software released before version 2.19.274 of the WhatsApp software and iOS users prior to 2.19.100.
If you want to be safe, we’d advise you update WhatsApp as soon as possible.
One way to stop yourself being clobbered by hackers is to make sure no-one can send you dodgy video files.
So we’re glad WhatsApp has launched a new privacy feature which will stop you being pulled into group chats you don’t want to be a part of.
The feature was rolled out to a limited number of people earlier this year but has now been officially released to all users.
Starting from today, you’ll be able to choose who can add you to groups, letting you block dodgy people or prevent annoying friends from adding you.
This might sound like a frivolous feature, but in fact it’s a great privacy tool because people in groups can see each other’s phone numbers.
If you can take control of who adds you into these chats, then you have an extra tool to protect your identity and make sure strange or scammy people don’t contact you as well as protecting yourself from bullies.
When you’ve updated the app, just open up settings and scroll to ‘account’, followed by ‘privacy’ and then ‘groups’.
You will be able to choose who’s allowed to add you to groups, with three options available.
Select ‘everyone’ and you’re wide open whilst choosing ‘my contacts’ means only friends will be able to add you.
The early version of the update allowed you to also choose ‘nobody’, which locked your account down entirely.
This has now been replaced by ‘My Contacts Except’, which will let you allow only certain contacts to add you to a group.
People you’ve blocked will still be able to send a group invitation in a private message – but this is very easy to ignore.
In a statement, Whatsapp wrote: ‘WhatsApp groups continue to connect family, friends, coworkers, classmates, and more. As people turn to groups for important conversations, users have asked for more control over their experience.
‘Today, we’re introducing a new privacy setting and invite system to help you decide who can add you to groups.
‘With these new features, users will have more control over the group messages they receive.
‘These new privacy settings will begin rolling out to some users starting today and will be available worldwide in the coming days to those using the latest version of WhatsApp.