GeneralTechnology

WhatsApp dark mode secretly available through mysterious bug

5 Mins read

WhatsApp users have figured out a way to use the long-awaited dark mode feature within the popular messaging app.

A bug discovered in the Android version of WhatsApp allows users to secretly test out the dark theme before its official release.

Users shared the method of unlocking the feature on social media, which involves sending a YouTube link to a contact within the app.

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Those hoping to test it out will need to be part of the WhatsApp beta program and use a phone with Android 10 installed.

After sending the YouTube link, users can tap the video thumbnail to open the picture-in-picture (PIP) player with the keyboard open, which will then enable dark mode if it is enabled within the app’s settings.

“If you would like to see the dark theme temporarily and legitimately you should use this ‘dark theme bug’,” website WaBetaInfo explained on Twitter. “Sometimes it shows the dark theme.”

1/12 Unsend messages

You can unsend a message by tapping and holding it, hitting the Delete symbol and selecting Delete for Everyone. The feature works for all types of messages, but only if they were sent less than seven minutes ago.

2/12 Dodge the blue ticks

WhatsApp’s blue ticks show when sent messages have been read, but you can disable them buy going to Settings > Account > Privacy > Read Receipts. However, bear in mind that, by doing so, you’ll lose the ability to see when your own sent messages have been read.

Another, more fiddly way of reading your messages without triggering the blue ticks, is enabling Aeroplane Mode before opening your messages – just remember to close the app before switching Aeroplane Mode off again.

3/12 Hide your ‘last seen’ time

Prevent your friends from finding out when you were last online by hiding your last seen time. Go to Settings > Account > Privacy > Last Seen. As is the case with disabling read receipts, hiding your ‘last seen’ time will also stop you from seeing anybody else’s.

4/12 Limit data usage

You can control how much data you munch through on WhatsApp by limiting the types of media you automatically download on a mobile connection. Go to Settings > Data Usage and choose the best option for you.

5/12 Customise notifications

If you’re expecting an important WhatsApp message from someone, set a custom notification for them by opening the chat, tapping their name at the top and hitting Custom Notifications.

6/12 Format your messages

To jazz up any of your messages, simply highlight it by tapping and holding it, hit the More Options key on the pop-up menu and tap the formatting option you want – bold, italic, strikethrough or monospace.

7/12 Type hands-free

You can get Siri or Google Assistant to type your WhatsApp messages out for you by saying either “Hey Siri” or “Okay Google”, followed by the name of the person you want to message and the actual contents of the message.

8/12 Mark chats as unread

When you’ve read a message but can’t reply to it straight away, you can set a visual reminder by marking it as unread. On Android, long-press the conversation, and on iOS, swipe from left to right on a chat.

9/12 Email entire conversations

You almost certainly won’t do this on a regular basis, but it’s a handy option to have. You can export entire conversations – complete with emoji and media attachments – by hitting More inside a chat a selecting Email Chat.

10/12 Mass-message contacts

You can send the same message to lots of your contacts without lumping them all into one group, much like the BCC option on email, by hitting the New Broadcast option on the app’s main menu.

11/12 Pin conversations

You pin up to three contacts and groups to the top of your WhatsApp conversation list by tapping and holding a chat, then hitting the pin icon.

12/12 Make things easier to find

You can easily mark key messages with a star, allowing you to find them easily when you need to. Just tap and hold a message and hit the star icon to save it, and return to it later by selecting Starred Messages in WhatsApp’s main menu.

1/12 Unsend messages

You can unsend a message by tapping and holding it, hitting the Delete symbol and selecting Delete for Everyone. The feature works for all types of messages, but only if they were sent less than seven minutes ago.

2/12 Dodge the blue ticks

WhatsApp’s blue ticks show when sent messages have been read, but you can disable them buy going to Settings > Account > Privacy > Read Receipts. However, bear in mind that, by doing so, you’ll lose the ability to see when your own sent messages have been read.

Another, more fiddly way of reading your messages without triggering the blue ticks, is enabling Aeroplane Mode before opening your messages – just remember to close the app before switching Aeroplane Mode off again.

3/12 Hide your ‘last seen’ time

Prevent your friends from finding out when you were last online by hiding your last seen time. Go to Settings > Account > Privacy > Last Seen. As is the case with disabling read receipts, hiding your ‘last seen’ time will also stop you from seeing anybody else’s.

4/12 Limit data usage

You can control how much data you munch through on WhatsApp by limiting the types of media you automatically download on a mobile connection. Go to Settings > Data Usage and choose the best option for you.

5/12 Customise notifications

If you’re expecting an important WhatsApp message from someone, set a custom notification for them by opening the chat, tapping their name at the top and hitting Custom Notifications.

6/12 Format your messages

To jazz up any of your messages, simply highlight it by tapping and holding it, hit the More Options key on the pop-up menu and tap the formatting option you want – bold, italic, strikethrough or monospace.

7/12 Type hands-free

You can get Siri or Google Assistant to type your WhatsApp messages out for you by saying either “Hey Siri” or “Okay Google”, followed by the name of the person you want to message and the actual contents of the message.

8/12 Mark chats as unread

When you’ve read a message but can’t reply to it straight away, you can set a visual reminder by marking it as unread. On Android, long-press the conversation, and on iOS, swipe from left to right on a chat.

9/12 Email entire conversations

You almost certainly won’t do this on a regular basis, but it’s a handy option to have. You can export entire conversations – complete with emoji and media attachments – by hitting More inside a chat a selecting Email Chat.

10/12 Mass-message contacts

You can send the same message to lots of your contacts without lumping them all into one group, much like the BCC option on email, by hitting the New Broadcast option on the app’s main menu.

11/12 Pin conversations

You pin up to three contacts and groups to the top of your WhatsApp conversation list by tapping and holding a chat, then hitting the pin icon.

12/12 Make things easier to find

You can easily mark key messages with a star, allowing you to find them easily when you need to. Just tap and hold a message and hit the star icon to save it, and return to it later by selecting Starred Messages in WhatsApp’s main menu.

WhatsApp’s dark mode will reduce screen glare and make it easier for users to view messages in low light conditions.

It will also help stop the app from draining as much battery and bring it in line with other popular applications that have already introduced the feature like Facebook Messenger, Telegram and Viber.

Screenshots of WhatsApp’s dark mode were first shared by WaBetaInfo earlier this year, revealing a dark grey colour scheme.

WhatsApp did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Independent but does not typically comment on unreleased features.

The Facebook-owned app is yet to announce an official release date for dark mode on Android and iOS devices, though the latest bug discovery suggests its arrival could be imminent.

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