While WhatsApp is still arguably the number one messaging option for businesses and everyday users alike, there are a few changes that are heavily rumored to be on the way very soon. Before we get into the rumors, however, one confirmed fact is that WhatsApp will now be called ‘WhatsApp from Facebook’ – as will Instagram – to let users know which company owns these hugely popular apps. The change won’t affect anyone who has WhatsApp and Instagram already installed on their phone or tablet, but the name will appear for new users searching for the apps on the iOS App Store or on Google Play. The actual apps themselves won’t change, so don’t worry about getting used to a new layout.
WhatsApp meets Google Home
As for the WhatsApp rumors, these are a little bit juicier. For anyone using Google Home – the company’s smart home rival device to the Amazon Echo – you’re in for a treat. Though not confirmed by Google at the time of writing, many blogs and publications are hearing that Google Home will be able to read out messages from WhatsApp, something that has never been possible before. This is a useful feature for when you might be driving, cooking, or doing anything where you can’t really check your phone with your hands. The feature will also extend to Telegram, Slack, and likely many other apps considered the best WhatsApp alternatives. You’ll also be able to dictate a reply to the message.
Changes to the desktop version
WhatsApp’s desktop option has been pretty useful for those who work at a computer, but dislike having to pick up their smartphone to send and answer texts. You simply have to download the desktop software and sync it with your smartphone, meaning you can see the messages on your laptop or PC.
Users have enjoyed this freedom, but the only downside is that your smartphone needs to be connected to data or a Wi-Fi network to function properly. Until now… the latest turn on the rumor mill is that WhatsApp’s desktop feature will soon be able to work without your phone needing to be connected to the Internet or even switched on. This would be a huge win for employees who prefer to have some separation from their smartphones when working at a computer.
WhatsApp is still the messaging king
Despite some disliking the fact that WhatsApp is now owned by Facebook, as well as some major outages making the app unusable in recent months, the messaging app still reigns supreme as one of the most popular among Android and iOS users. Still not convinced? Check some of these new WhatsApp stats:
- Around 1.5 billion users message with WhatsApp in over 180 countries
- It’s said that the average person will check WhatsApp 23 times every day
- There’s a strong indication that users in the US will reach 25.6 million by 2021
- The third-most downloaded Android app in the entire world is WhatsApp
- The app is actually banned in 12 countries
- 3 million companies are using the WhatsApp Business app