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Facebook-owned instant messenger service WhatsApp is one of the fastest growing social networks Here Are the Fastest Growing Social Networks You Need to Join Here Are the Fastest Growing Social Networks You Need to Join While Facebook holds the lion's share of the social market, new services like Kik, Snapchat and WhatsApp threaten to break Facebook's stranglehold on the social Internet. Read More on the planet. To keep up with the growing demands of its millions of users, the app frequently receives updates to add new features.

Just a short while ago, we talked about six new WhatsApp features you should know about 6 New WhatsApp Features You Should Know About 6 New WhatsApp Features You Should Know About When you're using an app day in and day out, it's easy to miss out on new features that get added. But what did you get in all those WhatsApp updates? Lots. Read More . Well, since then, the developers have added a whole bunch of new abilities that make the app better than ever. Plus, WhatsApp is now free forever!

To get these new features, you will need to have the latest version of WhatsApp, v2.12.51. The update is currently available only for Android and iOS users. You can download the app from the respective app store, or update it from your phone if you already have it.

Zoom, Pop-out, and Edit Videos

The new update completely changes what you can do with a video shared in WhatsApp. For starters, any video you download now has the same “pinch to zoom” mechanism that you find in photos. It’s a little difficult to pan-and-scan once you are zoomed in, but you’ll get the hang of it soon enough.

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Additionally, a new option lets you open any video in a pop-out floating window, just like playing YouTube videos in the background How to Play YouTube Videos in the Background, and Even with the Screen Off How to Play YouTube Videos in the Background, and Even with the Screen Off It is actually possible to listen to music videos on YouTube in the background -- here's how. Read More . This way, you can pop that video out and let it continue playing, while you browse your other WhatsApp messages.

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Finally, WhatsApp also has basic video editing features now, including cropping or trimming the video How To Convert, Rotate & Edit Mobile Phone Videos How To Convert, Rotate & Edit Mobile Phone Videos I was recently searching my hard disk drive looking for a specific video clip recorded at a Christmas party a few years ago. While browsing the resulting clips, I noticed that some wouldn’t play back;... Read More to reduce its size and reshare it.

Send PDFs and Share from Cloud

The Internet actually has some fantastic sites for free ebooks Want An All-You-Can-Read Buffet? 3 Places To Find Free Ebooks Online Want An All-You-Can-Read Buffet? 3 Places To Find Free Ebooks Online It's a great idea to devote some time to the joys of reading and utilize the interesting selection of books available for free at our fingertips. Here are three interesting places you can visit. Read More . However, they’re mostly in PDF format.

So until now, if you found a gem of a PDF, you couldn’t previously share it with your friends on WhatsApp. Similarly, the mobile phone and credit card bills that land in your email inbox in PDF format couldn’t be “WhatsApped” to someone else who needed to verify or approve them.

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Well, all that changes in the new WhatsApp, as you can now finally send PDFs to others, along with most of the other popular document formats.

Share Photos from Cloud Drives

Speaking of sharing documents, that’s one of the handiest new features in the WhatsApp update. Now, when you tap to share photos, you can simply dive into your favorite online cloud drive The Cloud Storage Showdown - Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive & More The Cloud Storage Showdown - Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive & More The cloud storage scene has heated up recently, with a long-awaited entry by Google and a revamped SkyDrive from Microsoft. Dropbox has gone unchallenged by the major players for a long time, but that’s changed... Read More and add pictures from there.

WhatsApp has added support to let you send documents from cloud-based drives like Google Drive and Dropbox, along with your internal storage. It’s a small step towards making it easier to share anything.

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Of course, you’ll need that cloud drive’s app installed and set up on your phone to be able to access its files. I’d highly recommend having Microsoft Office or Google Docs Microsoft Office For Android vs. Google Docs: Which Is Better? Microsoft Office For Android vs. Google Docs: Which Is Better? Read More installed on your smartphone to take advantage of all these file-sharing capabilities.

And personally, I think it’s best to use Google Photos and its unlimited photo storage space Get Free Unlimited Photo Storage & More with Google Photos Get Free Unlimited Photo Storage & More with Google Photos If you aren't using these hidden Google Photos features, you're really missing out. (Hint: There's free and unlimited photo storage!) Read More rather than any of the other solutions. But having the option to do what you want is always good, eh?

Auto-Sorted Links, Docs, and Media

So, your contacts can now send you documents. Add to this fact that photos and links were already shareable, and WhatsApp has a whole lot of media flying around. How do you track it all? Our previous suggestion was to use hashtags to make search easier 3 Secret Ways To Use Hashtags You've Never Tried Before 3 Secret Ways To Use Hashtags You've Never Tried Before The basic purpose of a hashtag, of course, is to find a list of all posts about a certain topic, but why not take it out of the Web services that already integrate it, and... Read More , but that’s made redundant by WhatsApp’s “Starred Messages”, introduced in the last big update.

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Thankfully, WhatsApp now auto-sorts all the links, documents, and photos or videos shared in any chat, whether a group or individual. Just open a chat, tap the three-dot options icon in the top-right corner, and select “Media”.

You’ll find three tabs for Media, Documents, and Links, which house all the relevant items shared in that chat. It’s super useful and my favorite new feature in the update.

Clear Chat but Keep Starred Messages

Speaking of Starred messages, their utility can’t be denied. However, those who liked to clear their chats—especially if your Android is running low on storage Low on Storage? Save Space on Android With Great Apps Under 10 Megabytes Low on Storage? Save Space on Android With Great Apps Under 10 Megabytes Running low on storage space on your phone or tablet? These tiny apps should be able to remedy that! Read More —also used to lose these Starred messages in doing so.

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The new update now lets you choose to retain these Starred messages while clearing the chat, so that the important stuff stays and the inane banter goes away. Nice and easy!

Control Download Settings for Data or Wi-Fi

WhatsApp is aware of how many of its users are worried about the amount of data it uses while connecting to the Internet through Edge, 3G, or 4G. A new setting allows you to minutely control this data usage.

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Go to Options (Three-dot icon) > Settings > Data Usage and you will find extended options to control how and when media is auto-downloaded. So when you’re using mobile data, you can set it to download only images; while roaming, no media; and when you’re on Wi-Fi, to download everything.

There’s also an option for “Low Data Usage” when making a WhatsApp Voice Call WhatsApp Voice Call: Everything You Need to Know WhatsApp Voice Call: Everything You Need to Know Popular instant messaging app WhatsApp has finally launched a new voice calling service, enabling users to make phone calls over the Internet. Read More , although this was already present in earlier version and is not part of the new update.

Get New Features First with WhatsApp Beta

Traditionally, new features for WhatsApp for Android Better Than Text Messages & Free - WhatsApp For Android Reviewed Better Than Text Messages & Free - WhatsApp For Android Reviewed A moment of introspection, please: What do you do more often - call people using your phone, or text them? I would bet it's the latter. For many people, texting is more convenient than calling.... Read More debut first in a beta version of the app, which enthusiastic users can download from the WhatsApp website. Well, now you can be a part of this beta and get automatic updates from the Play Store.

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WhatsApp has launched an official beta distribution channel on Google’s Play Store, through which you can try out new features before anyone else. Be warned that a beta app can have bugs, so we don’t advise this for everyone.

To gain access, go to the WhatsApp Beta page Better Than Text Messages & Free - WhatsApp For Android Reviewed Better Than Text Messages & Free - WhatsApp For Android Reviewed A moment of introspection, please: What do you do more often - call people using your phone, or text them? I would bet it's the latter. For many people, texting is more convenient than calling.... Read More , click the “Become a Tester” button, and download or update the app from the Play Store.

What’s Your Favorite WhatsApp Feature?

That’s plenty of new stuff in WhatsApp, from pinch-to-zoom for videos to advanced control over how it affects your data. My favorite part is, without doubt, the auto-sorted links, documents, and media, which makes it easier than ever to find something a friend had shared.

What about you? Which new WhatsApp feature has you the most excited? And while we’re at it, what feature do you hope WhatsApp adds next?

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