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WhatsApp 2015: Updates, Features Year in Review

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WhatsApp is one of the biggest and most popular instant messaging apps in the market, which isn’t really surprising since it has lots of wonderful things to offer. For one thing, it has one of the cheapest plan rates with just $1 a year for an unlimited subscription plan. It also lets people use their existing mobile numbers, which means they won’t have to memorize yet another username and password combination and that they can access the app’s services right away.

But WhatsApp don’t just stop at these since, every now and then, they release features that make their app even more compelling and addictive. Whether you’re a big fan of WhatsApp or are still thinking of switching, you’ll like the features that were released in 2015. These include:

Voice Calls

This is one of the most awaited features, and it became available to all users in March 2015. As long as your phone has the WhatsApp v2.12.19 and you’re connected to the internet, you’re good to go. Simply press the green-and-white phone icon at the top of the screen to make calls; if the person you’re calling has an internet connection, your call will definitely get through.

Worried about using too much internet when calling through WhatsApp? There’s no need to fret since the app now lets you reduce your data consumption when making voice calls. Just go to the app’s Settings, tap Chats and Calls, and check the box beside “Low Data Usage”.

WhatsApp’s voice call feature has revolutionized the app since it has attracted a completely new demographic; i.e. those who want to call people (especially loved ones who are living overseas) without paying too much. It also helped WhatsApp gain a lot of attention among smartphone users and strengthened their brand.

Starred and Unread Messages

Recent updates have made it possible for WhatsApp users to organize their conversations according to their needs and preferences. An update in August allowed Android users to mark messages as “Unread”, which is greatly helpful in identifying messages that you can’t reply to right away and want to check later. (Take note, though: senders will still see that you’ve read the message even if you use the “Unread” function.)

A November update, meanwhile, has brought the “Starred” feature to WhatsApp users. Similar to the “Starred” feature in Gmail, it lets you identify important messages by long-pressing on a massage and tapping on the star icon. This sends the message to a special “Starred” section, ensuring you’ll have easy access to them.

New Emojis

You can never have too much emojis, which is why WhatsApp has been releasing new emojis throughout the year. Its December update, for instance, gave Android users access to a new batch of emojis, which include a unicorn, a spider, and a turkey. Mexican food lovers will rejoice with the taco and burrito emojis, while sports fans will like the volleyball, ice skating, and medals emojis.

These are just some of the WhatsApp features that were released in 2015. Check them out to make the most of WhatsApp’s services!