It’s totally up to you how you use WhatsApp. We’re not here to preach to the converted. We simply want you to get the most out of this fantastic messaging app (possibly the best one ever). WhatsApp is very secure, fast and, unlike many other messaging apps (Messenger, cough, cough), it keeps image and video quality intact.
Read on for an in-depth guide to WhatsApp, its uses, how to download and install it, and much more useful information.
You can get WhatsApp right away, for free. Simply visit the download page on the Google Play Store if you’re on Android, or App Store if you’re on an iOS device. Even if you have the app on your device, visit the links to update the app to the latest version.
WhatsApp is constantly getting new updates, with slight quality of life changes, and new features. Most importantly, it runs best on the current update at all times. After you download WhatsApp, follow the setup instructions on your screen.
When you open WhatsApp for the first time, you’ll need to sign up for an account. Pick a username, enter your phone number (make sure to use the proper area code before the number) and upload a picture you’d like to use.
As soon as you create an account, WhatsApp will scan your contact list and add your phone contacts to the app.
Chatting on WhatsApp
You can immediately start chatting with your friends and family using WhatsApp. If you’re not content with the imported contacts from your phone, feel free to add more contacts. This is how to do it on WhatsApp:
- Launch WhatsApp on your device.
- Tap the Chat icon in the bottom-right corner.
- Press New Contact below New Group at the top of your screen.
- Enter the contact details (first and last name, phone number, etc.). This contact will be saved to your phonebook too.
To start chatting press the Chat icon, select a contact you want to message, and start typing. When you’re done, press the arrow button in the bottom-right corner of your screen to send the message.
The same goes for chatting in groups on WhatsApp. But we’ll discuss that in a separate section. For now, let’s focus on one-on-one conversations.
Other Means of Communication
Besides the standard text messaging, WhatsApp also offers voice and video calls. Here’s how to start a call on WhatsApp:
- Launch the app.
- Tap the chat icon for a new chat, or select one of your previous conversations from the home screen.
- Tap on the camera icon for video calls, or the phone icon for voice-only conversations. The call will start immediately, and it will ring until the recipient picks up the call.
Even though WhatsApp has great audio and video quality for calls, make sure you have a decent Wi-Fi signal or enough mobile data to use this feature. The call quality largely depends on your connection, as well as on the connection of the other person (or persons) in a call.
You can’t add other people to your call on the fly. If you want to talk to multiple people at once, create a WhatsApp group, which you can read about in the following section.
You can also send emoji on WhatsApp. In addition, you can attach files, such as documents, videos, and pictures. Finally, you can take pictures with the WhatsApp camera when chatting for a quick selfie or a photo on the go. If you long-press the capture circle within the camera you can also record video with WhatsApp.
Finally, let’s discuss groups on WhatsApp. What’s great about them is that you can add as many people as you want, all you need is their phone numbers. Here’s how you can create a new group on WhatsApp:
- Launch WhatsApp on your device.
- Tap the Chat icon.
- Select the New Group.
- Tap on each contact you want to add to the group. When you are done, tap the Next icon (arrow in the bottom-right corner of your screen).
- Select a group subject if you want to. Tap the green arrow icon to confirm and create the group.
- You can start chatting with the group right away. All the members will receive your messages, photos, calls, etc.
When you’re calling the group, you can choose which members you want to call. Then, you can choose whether you want to start a video or voice call. You can hang up any time you want, by pressing the red phone icon.
You can tap the three dots icon in the top-right corner of the screen to access various group settings. Feel free to explore the settings on your own, there are way too many of them to cover here.
Useful WhatsApp Settings
You can view the individual chat settings the same way you view group chat settings. Tap the three dots, and browse all the chat settings (chat info, mute notifications, etc.). You can tap on More to block, report, clear a chat with a person, etc.
To access general WhatsApp settings, do the following:
- Start WhatsApp.
- Tap on the three dots menu at the top-right of the home screen.
- Press Settings.
- Browse the Account, Chats, Notifications, Data, and other settings.
Have Fun on WhatsApp!
As alluded to above, there are way too many options on WhatsApp. But you’re sure to get used to them, the more you use the app itself. By the way, we forgot to mention the tabs you have on the home screen of WhatsApp, which are Chats, Status, and Calls.
You’ll be on the Chats tab most of the time, but the Calls option is also very neat because it lists all calls, starting with the most recent ones. The Search option (magnifier) is also very neat, it allows you to browse through chats, groups, and calls more easily.
Are you enjoying WhatsApp? Let us know in the comments section below.