WhatsApp has introduced a new feature in beta (version 2.16.365) that allows users to stream videos without downloading them. Meaning, you no longer have to download the entire video in order to watch it on your phone. Nonetheless, it again depends on your WhatsApp settings whether you want videos to be downloaded automatically or not. To download this update, go to the app page on the Play Store. There you will find an option to opt for beta testing at the bottom of the page.
Downloading the entire video or in some cases, automatic downloads result in wastage of data. This feature will be helpful since it first loads the video in buffer memory instead of user storage. Buffer space will then stream a part of the video which has been loaded successfully without requiring users to download it entirely at once.
We tried to find out how good is this feature in reality. During our test, we relied on a video which was around 15MB in size. On a broadband and 4G connectivity, the video streamed smoothly without any issue. On 2G, however, the video took longer to load which resulted in delayed streaming. This is common on mostly all streaming platforms considering that it has to buffer on the slow 2G network.
WhatsApp recently rolled out its video calling feature publicly, allowing users to connect with their friends and family over a video call right within the app. Last month, we studied and demonstrated how the video calling works and how much data it consumes on 2G, 4G, and broadband connectivity.
We recently discussed WhatsApp’s two-step authentication which is also currently in beta stage. This feature, once activated, doesn’t let anyone register on WhatsApp using your mobile number.