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WhatsApp Adds Formatting Options, Better File Support

March 17, 2016 - Written By Tom Dawson

Where messaging apps are concerned, WhatsApp has become one of the most popular out there, and while other options such as Telegram and Hangouts are gaining ground, Facebook have seemingly backed the right horse. One of the reasons that the service seems to be so popular, at least for those below the age of 30, is that the app is constantly being updated with new features here and there, making it a constant focus for those craving new and fun ways of getting in touch with people. Voice calling was a big feature added last year, but this latest update focuses on formatting of text and better file support.

The latest version of WhatsApp, v2.12.535 is the version that people will be looking out for. While it might take some time to roll out via the Play Store, it can be found online, too. One of the first changes is a tweak to a way that WhatsApp handles file transfers. Previously, WhatsApp was only good for media to be sent across the network, but it was recently expanded to include documents and such, too. With 2.12.535, WhatsApp will convert Google Docs and Sheets from Google Drive to PDFs before sending them. This isn’t all that useful in the long run, but it’s an improvement over only being able to send already-existing PDF files and will help those sending reference points and data while on the road.

The bigger change with this version however, is the fact it now supports text formatting when creating and display text messages. To create emphasis in a message, it appears WhatsApp follows a similar formatting to that of Markdown, for instance adding an asterisk to the beginning and end of a sentence or word will bold something, and an underscore used in the same fashion will produce italics. This is the same way that Google+ formats comments, as well Hangouts, too so it’s not exactly the same as Markdown, but it’s similar enough for those familiar to adjust. Bizarrely, there’s no official documentation on this from WhatsApp just yet, but we’re assuming they’ll have something to share with us all some time soon.

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