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WhatsApp: How to Use (Part 2)

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 by | Filed Under: Android, iOS

This is part two of the article on “WhatsApp? How to Connect with Friends Across the Globe.” WhatsApp is an application that allows you to message friends internationally without any additional fees or charges!  The first article was an introduction on how to begin using WhatsApp.  This time, we will be learning how to set up and edit your profile, set a status, and adjust your settings!  

Once you are already a user of WhatsApp, when you open the application, it will automatically take you to the main screen–the Chats screen.  If you press the Menu button on your Smartphone, a toolbar will appear at the bottom of the screen, displaying six icons.  These icons read: New Chat, New Group, New Broadcast, Contacts, Settings, Status.   If you select New Chat, it will take you to your Contacts list so you can select a contact and start a conversation.  If you press New Group, you’ll be able to type a group name and select a group icon if you’d like.  Next, you can add whichever contacts you want to be part of this group.  In this group chat, all members who have been added can view and participate in the conversation, including the sharing of messages, photos, and audio/video files.  

When you have started a Group Chat, you can make edits as necessary.  If you press the Menu button while on the group chat screen, six icons will again appear at the bottom of the screen: Group info, Group media, Search, Mute, Wallpaper, and More.  Under Group info, you can view the name of the group, the date of creation, the participants, and any group media that has been shared.  You can access the Group media more easily but pressing the icon Group media (through Menu).  The third icon, Search, allows you to search within the conversation.  Mute will let you ‘silence’ the group for a period of either 8 hours, 1 day, or 1 week.  Wallpaper will allow you to change the background of the chat screen for the group, and the More button lets you either clear or email the conversation, or you can add a shortcut icon on your Smartphone screen to access the group more easily. 

The third icon on the main (Chats) screen is New broadcast, where you can add broadcast recipients from your contacts list.  The fourth icon, Contacts, takes you to your contact list on your phone.  Now, let’s talk about Settings–the fifth icon.  This takes you to a General Settings screen displaying 7 different options: Help, About, Contacts, Profile, Account, Chat Settings, and Notifications

Under Help, you can access the FAQ section via the Internet, check the system status to ensure Whatsapp is operating correctly, and contact the company with any questions or comments.  The About button simply shows you which version of the WhatsApp Messenger is currently downloaded onto your phone.  Under Contacts, you can tell a friend about WhatsApp via text message/SMS, Facebook, email/gmail, etc.; view a list of any contacts you may have blocked (or select a contact you wish to block), and enable the app to show all your contacts.  Under profile, you can edit your display name and upload a photo.   The next tab is Account–this takes you to Payment info, Network usage, or Delete my account.  Payment info will show the phone number (your mobile phone number) linked to the account, service expiration (if you signed up for a free trial), and a button to purchase the application online.  Network usage will show how much you have been using Whatsapp in terms of messages and media bytes sent and received.  The third option is available if you wish to delete your account.  

Next option is your Chat settings.  You can enable the app to send messages by hitting the enter key, change the font size for your conversation screens, upload a wallpaper for the background of your WhatsApp screen, email and/or backup your conversations, delete all conversations, and clear all conversations.  The last option under Settings is Notifications.  This controls your settings for conversation tones, notification tones, contact ringtone if you wish to use a custom contact ringtone, enabling the vibrate option, enabling pop-up notifications of messages, choosing a color to blink the notification light when receiving a new message.  Under group notifications, you can choose a notification tone and/or vibrate, pop-up notifications, and color selection.  The same applies to any broadcast notifications.

Back to our main screen, the sixth and final tab when you hit the Menu button is Status.  This enables you to update the status that will appear next to your display name on your contacts’ phones.  WhatsApp has a series of generic status options you can select, such as Available, Busy, At school, At work, etc.  OR you can type in your own customized status!  Happy messaging!

What’sApp is available for iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia.


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