WhatsApp for Android has received an update that brings two new features - streaming videos while they download, and animated GIF image support. Earlier, the two features were available to WhatsApp beta users only. The new WhatsApp for Android app is now available to download via Google Play and adds both these features.
WhatsApp Video Streaming
With the WhatsApp update, users will be able to play videos right away without waiting for it to download first. It's worth noting that the WhatsApp videos now will still be downloaded to the device as the video is playing.
Earlier, the shared videos on WhatsApp had to be downloaded either automatically or manually on the device before watching it. It's worth noting that the new stream video feature will be useful for users who have opted for manual downloading of the media in WhatsApp. If auto-download has been opted through settings, the videos received via WhatsApp will be saved automatically (using Wi-Fi or Cellular Data, depending on the option selected).
As before, the new video streaming feature on WhatsApp for Android uses Wi-Fi or cellular data to buffer a shared video, while it's still in the downloading process in the background. With the new update, the shared videos on WhatsApp will appear with a play icon instead of a download button. At the bottom of the WhatsApp video dialogue box, the size of the video will be written. When play button on WhatsApp is tapped, the video starts streaming depending upon data speed.
WhatsApp Animated GIF support
Another feature available to users out of WhatsApp beta is the animated GIF image support. It was initially available in August and allowed WhatsApp users in beta to convert 6-seconds video to gif and share it with contacts. The WhatsApp feature recently received a full-fledged support.
In WhatsApp, users can send GIF via the attach file button which will open the Gallery on the device, and users can find the right GIF image to be shared. Before sending to their WhatsApp contacts, users can now crop the gif image in preferred size. WhatsApp will store the GIF images in its "Animated GIFs" folder inside WhatsApp's directory.