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General News WhatsApp for Android finally gets a dedicated video calling button
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WhatsApp periodically releases updates to fine-tune its messaging service. In what comes as a welcome addition, Android users are now getting a dedicated video calling button in the v2.17.146 update. Available through Google Play, the update brings some subtle yet necessary tweaks to the UI.

In the previous version, there would be a single calling button. Long pressing the button would release the option to either make a video or voice call over WhatsApp. Now, as part of the latest update, there is a dedicated video call button on the top panel alongside the regular calling icon. This also relocates the attachment clip down into the message box, next to camera and voice recording icon.

It is worth mentioning that a dedicated video calling button has long existed on iOS, and is the new little tweak offered to Android users. In another subtle UI change, the text box too has been revised with a more rounded shape than the edgy square shape. If you still haven’t updated to the latest version of WhatsApp, you can go to Google Play -> WhatsApp -> Install Update.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp is also working on introducing a new feature that will allow users to pin their favorite chats onto the top. It is currently available as part of a new update for beta users through version 2.17.162 or 2.17.163. The feature will be available via a dedicated icon in the action bar, placed next to functions such as delete, mute, and archive.

Similar to how pinning works on other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter; a pinned chat will remain on the top irrespective of whether it is the latest chat or an older one. Beta users report that as of now, one can only pin up to a maximum of three chats. If one is trying to pin another chat, an alert pops up stating, “You can’t pin more.” However, there is an option to unpin chats and replace with another.

Although there are other features available to highlight some chats, they do not place the whole thread at easy access. For example, the option to unread a chat does not put the chat on the top. While the bookmark option works only for specific messages within a chat and are available under a separate ‘starred message’ label. The purported pinning feature will thus fill in the gaps and help users decide on prioritizing chats or make them more accessible to get back to.

Lately, Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been adding a number of ‘borrowed’ features from rival photo, video-messaging app Snapchat. With its disappearing Stories-like Status feature, the app has managed to ape the rival service to the extent that it now boasts more users. In Facebook’s latest quarterly report, CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that WhatsApp’s Status users now stand at 175 million, which is higher than Snapchat’s 161 million daily users.

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Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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