Since its birth about six years ago, WhatsApp has grown to more than 1,000 million users and is one of our most common apps in many cases. From there it has also evolved with its particular rhythm adding more functions, but we do not always know how to use them or even that it exists, and here we have gathered 17 tricks for WhatsApp that bring together many of them.
There are functions that are more accessible and others that are not as intuitive or that we configure outside the app itself . Do you want to send messages from the voice assistant without touching the mobile? Know who has read your message in the group? We explain how to do these and other things on WhatsApp.
Whether you have an iPhone or an Android, I am sure that one of the applications that you use the most in your day to day is WhatsApp. It is the most used instant messaging service in the world and the one with the largest number of users. Despite this, one of the main criticisms of WhatsApp is that its application is very limited compared to other options.
But is this true? Is it really very limited? Compared to some competitors, perhaps, but the WhatsApp app hides many “secret” functions with which you can do much more than you think.
Would you like to know some of these secret functions and other tricks of WhatsApp? Keep reading to know or tricks to get more out of the WhatsApp app on iPhone and Android.
Different Tricks to use WhatsApp:
1. Choose what to show
Like other messaging apps or social networks, WhatsApp allows us to configure a profile with our photography, aliases and status. By default, this will be visible to anyone including the last time we have connected, but we can restrict it so that only our contacts or nobody can see it .
To do this we have to go to Settings> Account> Privacy and choose the settings we want for displaying the avatar, status, and last connection time. In the case of the last connection time, we will be able to see that of the rest according to what we choose: if we choose “nobody” we will not see the last connection time of the rest, and the equivalent if we choose only contacts.
2. Command the ticks
From the beginning WhatsApp signaled the sending and receiving of messages with ticks, to later indicate the status of the reading for the receiver with the famous double tick or double blue check . This, in fact, brought some controversy precisely by hinting that the message had been read when this was not always desired.
Initially, it could not be deactivated until the developers gave in to requests from users who did not comply with the imposition. Thus, if you do not want to be notified that you have read the messages (or know if your contacts have read yours), you will have to go to Settings> Account> Privacy and uncheck the box/switch of “Reading confirmation”. Of course, in groups, this function will continue to be active.
In addition, we can always read the messages from the notification center , so that the app does not open and it does not reflect that we have read them. This was already explained by the colleagues of Xataka Móvil , also remembering that we can use pop-up notifications (on Android) or airplane mode (without forgetting to close WhatsApp as soon as we have finished reading) so that our reading is not recorded.
3. The bots that WhatsApp does not give us (Android)
In this case, it is not something that we find per se in WhatsApp, but rather a function that we see in other messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger or Telegram and that with an external app we can integrate into it: bots. For this we can resort to qeuBot, an app that allows you to make use of a series of bots in a similar way to what we see on Telegram, that is, by mentioning them.
Among these bots we find the following:
- General information : we will call @wiki (example: “Hans Zimmer @wiki”).
- Current information : we will call @news (example: “Tech @news”).
- Information about the weather : we will call @weather to find out the weather in a city (example: “Valencia @weather).
- Information about the cinema : here it uses the IMdB database, therefore we will call @imdb (example: “Interstellar @imdb”).
- Horoscope information : we will call @horoscope (example: “Pisces @horoscope”).
- Image search : turn to Bing to display images of what we say (example: “Paris @pic”).
- Search for GIFs : GIFs could not be missing, and in this case we called @gif (example: “cat @gif”).
- Calculation function : to perform simple operations we will call @calc (example “34 x 4 – 12 @calc).
What we consult will be automatically sent to the conversation as soon as we send the query, and for some like Wikipedia, we can configure the language in which we write. The app has two versions : the free one and the paid one (1.69 euros). The bots not included in the free version of the app are the search for images, GIFs and news.
4. Format the text
A function whose arrival we eagerly awaited those of us who use the format resources to highlight words within a text and do not settle for quotation marks or capital letters, and which the colleagues of Xataka Android explained to us in detail . So, what we can do is put bold, italic, strikethrough or monospace type (fixed-width), or combine them. Simply by adding certain punctuation marks according to this code:
- Bold: open and close with asterisks (*) the word or phrase that interests us.
- Italic: open and close with underscores (_)
- Strikethrough: open and close with pointers (~).
- Monospace: open and close with three open accents. Example
- Combination of formats: the order must be taken into account to enclose in the correct order. That is, the first symbol to open is the last to close (in mirror, not repeating the order).
- Correct order: _ * text * _ (would appear in italics and bold)
- Incorrect order: _ * text _ *
5. Emoji, emoji everywhere! And big
The fever of the Emoji symbols is far from over and Unicode is expanding the assortment with regional pictograms, gestures or professions among many other categories. On WhatsApp what they implemented a few months ago was the possibility that these vary in size, depending on the number of symbols that we put, as explained in Xataka Android .
Thus, there is no need to do anything beforehand or insert characters as with formatted text. It is somewhat automatic when sending the message , depending on the number of Emoji that we put in a row (all being equal), with four or more symbols being the normal size and only one Emoji being the largest. Of course, when there is a different character between them, the size will be the standard, as well as if we put them after writing text.
6. Reply with GIFs
GIFs are the language of the future, we all know that, and they needed to be added on WhatsApp. But beyond jokes, it is something that has become popular and that other social app such as Twitter and Telegram ended up integrating so that you do not have to leave them to insert them.
On WhatsApp, they did that by resorting to the huge Giphy database, although it is not entirely intuitive. GIFs have their access in the photo library, with which we have to do as if we wanted to share one of our photos, but going to the access that is in the lower right corner. There the Giphy search engine will open in which we can enter the topic (in Spanish or English, as we wish), and once selected we can send it whole or shorten it , being able to add a message as with the photographs or videos.
7. Highlight messages (or bookmark)
Sometimes it is convenient for us not to lose certain messages and save them for later consultation, just as we do with tweets or articles. In the same way, we can bookmark the messages we want by going to the command with its symbol (a star) in the menu that appears when clicking on a message.
To see them we have to go to the settings tab, being the access under the option of the web/desktop client. They come out in chronological order as we have marked them (the oldest first).
8. Search content
We may not have thought or missed marking a certain message as a favorite and a few days have already passed, which can mean a lot of conversation to go back. To avoid this we can directly search for words in all chats , as we do with the system or the browser, and the way of doing it varies according to the operating system.
In iOS it is accessed from the conversations screen, sliding down so that the option appears and we can enter the search terms. In Android we will have to enter the chat options menu, among which we will find “search”, highlighting the word in the conversation and being able to jump from one to another.
9. Management of chats (I): keep them and send them by email
As for saving conversations, there are several ways depending on whether we want to save a message, a few or all the history. The latter is provided by the WhatsApp to log in with your own system backup or backup, both the option of realizing how to restore it .
But if what we want is to keep or transfer a message (or especially a conversation), we can share it in an email in the form of a .txt file in the Android version (in iOS it copies it as selected text to a new email) . For this we will look for the option in the three points and “More” of the contextual menu that appears when selecting a conversation. This remains in a text file ( .txt) as a standard email attachment.
10. Chat management (II): delete them
If what we are looking for is to delete conversations or messages we also have several options depending on what we want exactly. Selecting a message we can eliminate it from the conversation: if it is ours, no one else will see it and if it is foreign, we will not see it.
We can do the actions globally by going to the same menu as to configure the backup: Settings> Chats> Chat history. There we have three options to make conversations disappear :
- Archive : will clear the chat screen, leaving an access to them in “Archived chats”. The action is completely revocable, just as it has been archived.
- Empty : chats are deleted, with the possibility of resetting them from the backup.
- Delete : are permanently deleted.