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WhatsApp Android Update Improves Security, Lets You Pay For a Friend

by Jacob Kleinman | March 11, 2014March 11, 2014 7:00 pm PDT

whatsapp android

WhatsApp rolled out an update for its Android app today, patching several bugs and adding new features, including the ability to pay for a friend’s service. The messaging app made headlines last month after it agreed to a $19 billion buyout by Facebook, though it’s unclear what the social networking giant plans to do with WhatsApp beyond operating it as a stand-alone service.

Today’s update to WhatsApp improves privacy settings for your profile picture and current status, and adds a new camera shortcut as well as larger video thumbnails without chat and Hindi support for Android 4.1 and up. You can also choose to show unread messages in the app’s Android widget for Android 3.0 or higher. The update fixes a few bugs as well, including one affecting emoji on Sony phones and another blocking voice messages on Sony phones and the Galaxy Note 3.

The biggest change, however, is the ability to pay for a friend’s service. While WhatsApp costs just 99 cents per year, the app is popular all around the world including regions where even that cost could be enough to keep some people from using the service. The new feature means you can keep your friends and family on WhatsApp for just an extra dollar per year each.

WhatsApp is available for all Android phones running 2.1 or higher, though some new features are only available for more recent versions of the operating system. If you don’t have WhatsApp you can download it for free via the source link below.

Google Play

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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