Recent reports from WABetaInfo have divulged some of the new features currently under development for the world’s most popular messaging app, WhatsApp.
One of the big changes in the latest beta update for the Android version of the app is the ability to choose from different quality presets for multimedia that you want to share with contacts.
WhatsApp currently uses lossy compression when uploading photos, videos, and audio to its servers, making the files smaller.
In addition to consuming less data and making it faster to send, this reduces the amount of storage WhatsApp media takes up.
However, it also drastically reduces quality, which is not ideal for multimedia editors and content creators who need to be able to send high-fidelity content.
One previous test has claimed WhatsApp’s image compression algorithm is very aggressive. It significantly reduces resolutions, resulting in a drop in image quality of up to 98%.
There is currently no way to change this compression rate in the official app for general users.
In the latest Android beta, it provides three quality settings for media sharing, including:
- Auto (recommended) – WhatsApp detects the best compression algorithm for specific images or videos.
- Best quality – WhatsApp will send the image or video using the best possible quality.
- Data saver – Compression is enabled when Data Saver is enabled in your Android settings.
Below is an image showing the new options under the “Storage and data” section of WhatsApp’s settings.
The feature is currently still being tested, so it’s unknown when it will officially roll out to all users.
However, there is currently a workaround for those who want to send uncompressed media right now.
WhatsApp does not apply compression to documents, so selecting this option when choosing an attachment will let you send videos, images, or audio at their original size and quality.
On iOS, this will require that you move the items you want to send from your gallery to a separate folder.
Using this bypass means you won’t be able to see a preview of the image in your chat, however.
In addition to the new quality presets for media, users of the latest Android and iOS betas who share links will now see large preview images alongside them.
This is similar to the preview images that appear with links posted to Facebook.
The latest WhatsApp for Android beta also reduces the size of profile pictures in the chat list.