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for WhatsApp
It’s the best and most popular
messaging app but are you
getting the most out of it?
Jane Hoskyn reveals the
latest expert tricks for
mastering WhatsApp

Unsend embarrassing
Don’t panic! WhatsApp now lets you
‘unsend’ accidentally dispatched
messages. Long-press the message,
tap the bin icon and select Delete For
Everyone. This erases the offending text
from your recipient’s screen as well as
Turn WhatsApp’s audio message feature
your own, whether or not it’s been read. into a private dictaphone
The catch is that you can only unsend
a message for up to an hour and your number as a contact (tap the green
recipient will see ‘This message was message button then ‘New contact’,
deleted’, which may leave them feeling ‘Create contact’), then start a thread
even more determined to find out what (‘chat’) with yourself and get talking.
they missed. On Android, the audio files are saved in
WhatsApp\Media\Audio files as well as
in the app; on iOS they’re saved in the
app only.

Share your live location

WhatsApp now lets you share your
Go incognito and ditch the blue ticks to device’s location in real time, so your
stop WhatsApp revealing your every move recipient can track exactly where you
are, which is handy when meeting in an
trick instead: set your device to display unfamiliar place. Open a chat with that
full messages in notifications. On iOS, person, then tap the ‘attach’ icon
you could also get Siri to read them out (paperclip on Android; ‘+’ on iOS) and
WhatsApp lets you delete sent messages, and, in Chrome, you can use free choose Location from the attachment
if you’re quick – but everyone will know extension WAToolkit to display options (which also include audio files,
notifications (see boxout, opposite).
Hide yourself and That way, you can read incoming
your blue ticks messages without opening WhatsApp
WhatsApp encrypts your messages in and triggering a read receipt.
transit, but it’s hardly a fortress of
privacy. By default, it reveals when Save private audio notes
you’re online, what time you were last The microphone icon in the bottom-
active and when you’ve read messages. right corner of WhatsApp’s message
To switch off these intrusions, open window works like a walkie-talkie
Settings via WhatsApp’s main menu button. Press and hold it, record a voice
then go to Account, Privacy. Tap ‘Last message, then let go to instantly send it.
seen’, then Nobody (to hide the ‘online’ You can cancel before sending by
tag) and disable ‘Read receipts’ to stop swiping left, or enable hands-free mode
the blue ticks. by sliding your finger up to the lock icon
Disabling blue ticks also prevents you while recording.
from seeing when recipients read your With a bit of trickery, this feature also
messages, so you could keep them works as a private dictaphone for Give a friend temporary tracking
switched on and use this alternative recording ideas. First add your own privileges to help with a rendezvous

48 13 - 26 November 2019
Secret Tips for WhatsApp

documents, photos and contacts). Allow plenty of other export options,

location access, then select ‘Share live depending on your devices and apps.
location’ and choose how long they can Ours included Bluetooth, messaging
track you for. You can tap ‘Stop sharing’ service Telegram and even nearby
in the chat to shut down the tracking devices including our neighbour’s Fire
once you’ve succeeded in meeting up. Stick, which we discreetly ignored!

See who you chat to most

WhatsApp’s ‘Storage usage’ screen is
designed to reveal how much space
you’re using, but it’s also a handy way to
monitor your chat habits. Tap ‘Data and
storage usage’ in Settings, then ‘Storage Automatically back up your chats to carry
usage’ to see all your chats and how on where you left off on a new device
much space each one is taking up, with
the largest at the top. Tap a person for Back up and restore
a megabyte-by-megabyte breakdown your WhatsApp chats
of the types of media they use to WhatsApp chats aren’t stored in your WhatsApp lets you export chats via email
communicate with you. account so, if you’re switching to a new – or even to other chat apps
device, you’ll need to import a backup
from Google Drive or iCloud. To save a Message multiple people
regular automatic backup, go to Chats, without using groups
‘Chat backup’ in Settings, then decide WhatsApp group-notification nightmare
the backup frequency and whether to season (more commonly known as
include videos and use mobile data. Christmas) is almost upon us. Happily,
Be aware that chats are only encrypted there is a way to message multiple
in WhatsApp, not after they’re backed contacts in one go without triggering a
up in the cloud. notification pile-on: add them to a
To import a backup, install WhatsApp ‘broadcast’ – WhatsApp’s version of
on a new device and follow the prompts. email’s BCC (blind copy).
Sadly, you can’t do this across platforms Open the main menu from the Chats
so chats backed up from Android can tab, tap ‘New broadcast’, select your
only be restored on Android and the contacts and tap the tick to create your
same restriction applies to iOS. message. The recipients won’t see each
other and they’ll only get your message
Download a whole chat if you’re in their contacts.
Find out whose chats take up most space as a text file Annoyingly, you can’t stop people
- and what data types are responsible WhatsApp lets you export entire adding you to WhatsApp groups – this
message threads as plain text files, feature is currently only available in
Delete space-hogging chats complete with timestamps. Open the India. While we wait for the new opt-out,
(except the best bits) chat’s menu and tap More, ‘Export chat’, we suggest muting a group chat until
You don’t have to delete entire chats to then choose email and enter a recipient it’s less active, by selecting ‘Mute
free up storage space. Tap a chat under (such as yourself), then Send. You’ll see notifications’ in the chat’s menu.
‘Storage usage’, then Free Up Space and
tick the stuff you want to clear. For
example, just GIFs and videos or IMPROVE WHATSAPP WITH EXTENSIONS
everything except text. Alternatively,
delete everything except ‘starred’ WhatsApp supports third-party
messages (add a star by long-pressing extensions but there’s no built-in way
a favourite message). Open a chat’s to add them, so we’ve trawled app
menu and tap More, ‘Clear chat’. Make stores and developers’ sites to round
sure that ‘Delete starred messages’ is up the best – and they’re all free.
unticked and then tap Clear Messages. • Transcriber (Android:
transc488); Audio to Text (iOS:
audiotext488): Automatically convert
WhatsApp voice messages to text.
• WhatsApp Business (Android, iOS: Use two
numbers on one phone, add chat notifications, even when you close
labels and create auto-responses. the page.
• WikiBot (Android, iOS: • Hide Media (Chrome:
wikibot488): Send it any word and hidem488): Hide photos and NEXT
it’ll reply with a Wikipedia definition. videos in WhatsApp Web – ISSUE:
• WAToolkit (Chrome: useful for slow connections Discover
secret tip ok
Configure text size in WhatsApp Web and privacy from passers-by o
for Faceb er
( and get (see screenshot, above). M esseng
Keep this box empty to clear out all
messages except your favourites

Discuss WhatsApp tips at 13 - 26 November 2019 49