WhatsApp received new features during the month of March, such as the description in groups, but it was also the target of controversies. In addition, the extension of the time to delete the messages sent and the microphone lock feature were made available in the test version for Android, now available for iPhone (iOS). TechTudo also brought a tutorial, showing how to set up automatic responses in the service with Reply, the new app from Google.
However, three new threats to user security have surfaced over the month. The messenger was once again used by cyber criminals as a means to apply scams, mainly through texts about nonexistent promotions with links to fake pages. Below, remember the main facts that marked WhatsApp in March.
WhatsApp gained news in March, but it was also the target of blows Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / TechTudo
What Google has done to make Android more secure
More time to delete messages
Since October 2017, WhatsApp allows you to delete a content sent in up to seven minutes. In that month, the service started testing the extension of this time limit in the Beta version for Android. It is now allowed to delete a text, video, photo or file sent in up to 4096 seconds or, more precisely, an hour, eight minutes and 16 seconds.
Message deleted on WhatsApp for iPhone Photo: Aline Batista / TechTudo
For now, the novelty is only available in the iPhone version. On Android, I still need to use the Beta version, of tests, to have access to the feature.
Smart WhatsApp: automatic responses
Reply is the new Google application for automatic replies to messengers and allows integration with WhatsApp. With artificial intelligence resources, the app can read messages and suggest texts, taking into account the context of the conversation, the location, among other variables chosen by the user.
See how to use the Reply app to get responses ready for WhatsApp Photo: Paulo Alves / TechTudo
Its function is to recommend a response, which can be sent manually by a button in the notification center or automatically. It is possible to define so that Reply does not need the user's intervention to perform the action, if the person is directing or performing physical activities.
The application is available for testing only for Android devices and is compatible with WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook Messenger, Hangouts, Twitter, among others.
Microphone lock on Android
In November 2017, WhatsApp made the microphone lock feature available in the iOS app, which allows you to record audio messages without the need to hold the button. In March, the feature appeared experimentally in version 2.18.71 of WhatsApp Beta for Android and is expected to arrive in the stable edition in the next updates.
WhatsApp with audio message lock Photo: Thssius Veloso / TechTudo
In addition to the lock, the WABetaInfo website discovered, also in the Beta version, an extra feature, still non-existent for iPhone. The hidden tool allows you to hear the audio itself before forwarding it to someone else. Currently, it is only possible to listen to the voice message after sending.
Description and search for group members
WhatsApp groups gained new features during the month of March. Users of Android and iOS versions can search for members and easily find out if a person is participating or not. The function is very useful for large groups, since the maximum limit is up to 256 users.
WhatsApp: learn to add description in groups Photo: Viviane Werneck / TechTudo
The other novelty is the release of the description for groups on all platforms. The tool allows you to add more information, in addition to the name and photo. The description can be edited by all members, not being restricted to administrators only.
WhatsApp continued to be targeted by cyber criminals to deliver scams. For that, texts about inexistent promotions are used with links that lead to fake websites, deceiving thousands of people. Only three episodes were discovered in March.
Fake link message that has been shared on WhatsApp Photo: Divulgao / Kaspersky Lab
One of the cases was a false promotion of Easter offering gift cards of R $ 800.00. Another involved giving away a World Cup sticker album for free and the third taking advantage of International Women's Day to offer a free makeup kit. In all cases, the victims were directed to pages where they answered questionnaires. Thus, they granted permission for hackers to receive notifications, or even provided data that can be used by criminals to subscribe to paid services without their authorization or other types of violations.
Smarter WhatsApp: learn how to use automatic responses