Five tips you may not know about WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a super popular messaging app, which has enjoyed substantial growth over the last handful of years. Recently sold to Facebook (for $19 billion), we added the Windows Phone client to our roundup of best messaging apps for the platform.

We know many of you actively use WhatsApp, but we've got some handy tips for you should you be getting started. 

1. Tap a contacts name to view more

WhatsApp Contact

This may sound like a simple feature and something not worth noting, but should you wish to view more information about a contact and check out what media has been transferred in previous conversations, it's a quick way to get access to profiles.

Next time you're chatting away and need to be reminded who they are, just hit their name.

2. Send location info to recipient

WhatsApp Location

Meeting up with people can be a pain if you're wondering where the everyone is currently located. It's super easy to get started by hitting "attach" in a conversation, then "location" and wait for magic to get to work inside the device to determine your current location.

This can then be shared with contacts, along with a detailed report on how accurate the reading is.

3. Use the power of voice over text


Notice the microphone next to the text input box? That's for utilising your voice over hitting the keys on the virtual keyboard. All you need to do is hold the button and away you go. The Windows Phone will then decipher detected speech. 

Think of it as practice for when Cortana arrives.

4. Broadcasts and groups

WhatsApp Group

Sometimes it's more fun to communicate with more than one person in a group. Luckily, WhatsApp makes it easy for a group of people to communicate together, perfect for family, friends and colleagues. You can even add a photo and group subject!

But should you wish to fire out a single message to more than one contact, there's a handy broadcast feature, which will send said message to recipients added. It's worth noting that they will only receive the broadcast should they have your number in their address book.

5. Smash return to send replies

Smash Enter

There's nothing worse than having to hit the send button when down with instant messages. It's different when you're sending SMS responses as they can be rather lengthy and you may wish to separate paragraphs out, but in WhatsApp you can easily hit 'return' on the keyboard to insta-send. Job done.

This can be configured in the settings, just in case you don't wish it to act in this manner.

Those are just a handful of tips to get you cracking with WhatsApp. Let us know your helpful pointers in the comments. If you haven't already got WhatsApp installed, be sure to download the app from the Windows Phone Store for free.

QR: WhatsApp

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Waiting for whats app update. New features.
  • I thought the update was ready ...
  • Me too!
  • Same herr
  • It got updated on Android though. :(
  • I think it will be updated when windows phone 8.1 lands!!!
  • I dunno, is Wpc having an unusually slow news week?
  • lol seems so but they can't make the news and they are posting some good articals for noobs
  • "articals for noobs" that's some leetspeak you got there
  • 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000
  • We've gone from useless windows phone tips to useless app tips. Cant wait to see what's next
  • I guess so! Not a busy week at all... But April's going to be too busy, almost 3 weeks left, can't wait.
  • I reckon it's because of Titanfall.
  • i dont really get it... windows phone has all those features already.  Why switch to whatsapp?
  • Not everyone had unlimited text and photo video voice group messages...
  • Do you mean windows phone has all these features for texts? Because if nothing else, regular sms SUCKS for group chatting. It'll be better if they add the rumored Mute option for group texts, but right now it blows. Trust me, I'm stuck in unwanted group text hell right now with a bachelor party convo with a bunch of people I don't know. It fuggin' sucks.
  • I'm sorry but I laughed.
  • Whatsapp already has mute Group Chats. Just go to Group Info.
  • Yup, I'm talking about muting group SMS.
  • Number 5 doesn't really make sense, as the button should be return, not enter. And in such should input a carriage return.
  • It's only called return in some countries; the rest of the English-speaking world calls it 'Enter'.
  • Err, no, that's not quite right. A 'Return' key results in a carriage return in word processing software. An 'Enter' key, which can be found on keyboards with a separate keypad to the right, results in the completion of a function. In pretty much on any modern OS, the Return key also has the same function as the Enter key, with the exception of in a word processing setting, which makes the original comment valid. If the Return key sends the text, what key results in a Carriage return?
  • In your WhatsApp settings, toggle "Enter sends a message".
  • While the functionality is the same, the key attached to the alphanumeric keyboard is actually called 'Enter' in most English-speaking countries, even when he layout is still the US layout. It's only called 'Return' in the US and a few others.
  • Here in Brazil, is Enter.
  • In Soviet Russia, carriage returns you!
  • There's a choice on how the button should work in the settings.
  • I'll stick with SMS or.maybe have my friend use whatsapp so I can have someone to talk to.
  • Actually WhatsApp is very popular in countries where you get to pay for SMS. Here in Egypt for example a single SMS costs 0.14 pounds, while the whole internet package subscription that gives you 1.25 GB of data transfer costs you 25 pounds/month. So it makes sense to use WhatsApp instead of regular SMS. Note: 1 EG Pound = $0.14
  • Alright, but here in the states they always give you unlimited text bit charge $15 for a GB over your data plan. On average in my area $70 gives you unlimited everything on t-mobile and sprint.
  • In India there is limit of sending sms. Only 200 sms per day and normal sms charge is ₹1 per sms and in ₹99 I get 2GB data for 30 days. I rarley use sms now, and my 90% frnds & family are on Whatsapp
  • Are these tips for an 80-years old grandpa?
  • Lol
  • Something like that
  • Update.
  • Lol!
    Do you guys really think these are REAL WHATSAPP TIPS???
      I know one which works awesome and sure is a real trick/tip or magic. Send any downloaded video with your windowsphone whatsapp with anyone.
    Till now we can send any pre-recorded video but with my trick you can send just ANY Web-Downloaded video.
  • And...?
  • LoL... Thats not a trick, thats a feature of whatsapp ;)
  • okay, got you in below post
  • I shouted this in my head.
  • Yes,you can send any video which exist on your device, by saving your Video(need to be send) in Camera Roll...But to do this you have to use PC....
  • Yay! You win a pony!
  • I thought u were gonna tell me how to change the notification sounds for a sec..maybe u should change the title:P
  • So u can't change notification sounds?? oh wait.. I m on beta and i can do that!
  • Same here
    the beta was updated today :D
  • It got updated two days continuously. Don't know what they are updating still
  • Sweeet!
  • Will ya update it finally?
  • Where is the update??????
  • ???
  • Ok so u wanna know how it works.. Its very simple, 1) Download any web video from youtube or any webpage. (better to have .mp4 format file) 2) Rename the File (WP_2014/or any name) but the name should start with (WP_ ). 3) put the file in your phone in pictures hub. (make a seperate folder/put it in camera roll or wherever it doesnt matters.) 4) Open whatsapp > attach album > open your folder and attach video and share. 5) simple,usefull TIP.
  • Umm gonna give it a try. I can use Pocket file manager to rename and move the file to camera roll right? ........................... Tried it, it says "1 VIDEO SELECTED" when I select the video but can't see any ( v ) (okay) button.... Maybe the trick worked before any update....
  • Bwah,
  • Why does Whatsapp need access to Appointments??? That's a deal breaker for me as it means that the app can access all my calendar info. I emailed Whatsapp to find out, but they did not reply. Can WPCentral investigate? App requires contacts phone identity video and still capture location services photo, music, and video libraries microphone data services phone dialer push notification service camera WVGA (480x800) appointments owner identity music library photos library media playback movement and directional sensor VOIP calling web browser component HD720P (720x1280) WXGA (768x1280)
  • I don't see why they would need access to even half that list. Seems like data mining to sell your info to me.
  • Facebook owns them, of course its data mining.
  • You're so cruel to post this when everyone is waiting for the update.
  • This are really useful... If you just got your first smartphone ever.
  • Got excited when I saw whatsapp thinking it was the update at long last...instead we get this very useful article. Thanks wpc! :D
  • Seems like WPC people are new to whatzapp ohh its a Sssss
  • I thought the microphone was for sending voice messages... I've never been able to have it transcribe my speech
  • True
  • It is for sending voice messages. I assume the author's never used it.
  • Yeah, I thought the microphone only sent an audio sample to the chat.  I've been wishing since day 1 that I could voice-to-text in whatsapp (like I do in SMS, or iOS whatsapp)  
  • Where is the update then?!!
  • Instead of giving these known tips please update it
  • How come they update the app dude? Do they work at WhatsApp.
  • ^^THIS!!! All the other pegions are singing the same song....
  • ^ *FACEPALM*
  • These are nice features if you start using WhatsApp; however, all of these features are already built into the default messaging in Windows Phone 8. I mention this, because I am shocked to find WP users that never noticed these features. SMS/Texting/Messaging with the built in Windows Messaging, you can use LOCATION, SPEECH TO TEXT, ROOMS & GROUPS. The 'groups' and 'rooms' features of WP8 also provide additional features like OneNote sharing, etc.   To find some of the more advanced features, when composing a Message, hit the Attach Icon, it brings up a list of additional things: picture, video, my location, voice note, ringtone, contact    
  • See, I like the way this guy thinks. Focus as much on integrated services as "apps".
  • Indeed, and that would be great if everyone had Messenger and/or unlimited texts and mms. There are people with whom I'm communicating on daily basis who have neither. I do have unlimited texts, but in order to send location, pictures or participate in a group chat via text, I must send mms and it's 36 cents each (converted from Croatian kuna). I don't feel like paying a few dollars for a lenghty group conversation and some photos when I can do it for free over wifi or my 3G with 1 GB included. :) That's why messaging apps are priceless, whether it's WhatsApp, Viber or some other solution. But I'd rather use built in stuff because I like the feel of everything being in one place. Sadly, I must go for the cheaper option.
  • Hey, we want WP to grow, right? There will always be newcomers to the platform and we need these articles, too. There are tech-savvy forums for you guys to comment on. Your lack of insight is why you are not writing for wpcentral.
  • Hey rich,
    That microphone is actually for recording instant voice messages. It will not record and decipher speech to text. Please correct it.
  • Wechat is wayyyy better...
  • One more tip..swipe thru previous chats and photos for seeing craaaaaaaash.....
  • Lol
  • Not on the beta :P
  • So they actually fixed it? Awesome!!!
  • So happy to see whatsapp picture on WPC news feed but turned out not the update... Update update, where are you already? #prayformh370
  • Where The Update?
  • Only thing I havent figured out with Whatsapp is how to message someone just after you've added someone to your phonebook. If I add someone's #, and they have Whatsapp also I don't see them on my favs list. I can see them in all contacts, click their name and see their tagline or status, display pic etc but I have to wait for them to initiate the convo before they appear in my favs. Very frustrating.
  • Yeah right, I usually restart my mobile
  • Go to the fav list
    and tap the 3 dots
    hit refresh
    close the app
    reopen the app
  • Tip #6: the app crashes within 10 minutes
  • Good feature... Dear CEP
  • Now that I know you are not batman, tell me who you are?
  • How's about NOT AUTO-STORING MEDIA RECEIVED??? I don't know why this feature was removed.
  • You'll get it in the next update :P
  • Wat the fuk..,are these tricks!!!! I mean people r really dumb who dont even kno these simplest things
  • Please give the latest update..Tired of waiting and waiting..
  • If only they brought back the option to not save stuff in my phone.
  • Seriously!! Need this feature badly!!
  • Yesterday I saw someone using a lumia in the bus where I found the colour of the whatsapp is original in the live tiles not the theme colour but i cannot set that in my lumia?is that possible?
  • What!?
  • Omg. That guy haven't updated whatsapp for more than a year now.
  • Wp7 bro
  • And stop sneak-peeking in other people's phones, man.
  • I didn't sneak man actually it feels good when I see people using a WP..and I guess u r right,either he is WP7 user or he doesn't update WhatsApp..
  • waiting for whatsapp desktop app... telegram and viber allready have
  • Not going to happen. The goal of WhatsApp is being an SMS replacer. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • Please just solve the crashing issue.... Pls:'( :'( :'(
  • As already stated, 3 is incorrect. WhatsApp does not have speech to text deciphering. Its simple audio message. Not sure why they don't add it as I *believe* they can make use of MS's audio recognition web services.
  • Integrating watsapp linking it with cortana
  • Still waiting for the custom background
  • I do hope that's the only aesthetic thing they add - I don't hope they add chat heads. I really like the cleanness of the current interface.
  • Talking about WhatsApp, my account's expiry date got extended by a year. Again.
    My friend's Lumia 1320 shows "Lifetime" instead of a date though. What's going on??
  • Is it only me or does Whatsapp squeeze pictures taken vertically to a square? It not only looks hideous, it is also very annoying atm.
  • Yup.. Same here.
  • Indeed - I noticed that too. I do wonder how the recipent sees the photo... Would be bad if you're sharing selfies lol
  • Unfortunately the receipient gets it as it is sent... In a square squeezed box. But the original picture is stored (in good proportions) on the phone. If you add the picture through the albums, it is also in good shape (not squeezed).
  • That's a good work around! Thanks :-)
  • Does anyone notice that WhatsApp crashes when you skim through older messages? If I go up in a conversation too far, the app closes itself - or is that just my phone (L920)?
  • This is the common issue and many of them have reported this in reviews of WhatsApp.
  • i have experienced used to it now (L925)  
  • Lol it's not the return key it's the enter key
  • Thanks for telling us what we already know.
  • Is there a way to send music files to contacts?
  • How dumb are wpcentral readers?  Or are they all just 13 and never seen a typewriter?  Guys that symbol on Whatsapp is a "carraige return" symbol or a "return" symbol for short.  Carraige return, return, and enter are all synonymous in the computer world but they are all derived from the old typewriter term carraige return.  Haven't you always wondered why the symbol looks like that?!  And it has nothing to do with the English language.  Typewriters behaved the same way all over the world.
  • I've got Whatsapp installed but zero of my nearly 200 contacts use it.  I don't understand why others like it so much, I have to admit.  And, seriously, "nothing worse than having to hit the send button"?  Are you kidding?  What is this world coming to.
  • Send button comment was a little over the top.  I honestly like the old way it was where you could use the carriage return key as a real carriage return key and make paragraphs.  I hadn't really bothered to figure out how to change the setting back to the old carraige return behavior so the article helped with that.
  • "There's nothing worse than having to hit the send button when down with instant messages." Lol, seriously?
  • Quite useful!
  • wen can we get an update where we can hide our last seen,custom our background,custom our notification sound,send songs through whatsapp...and everything,,...cmon i feel windows users who r music lovers should nt feel that they have choose a wrng choice by opting windows phone...plzzz try to get update of all d above asap
  • New to the windows community but hoping for a very soon whatsapp update.. Notification alerts and maybe a pimp with custom backgrounds too :) blackberry received their update this week past.. So it shouldn't be long now I suppose
  • badly needs update. Its necessary for the people using windows phone
  • Anyone know the reason for not getting updates for whatsapp??? :(