What is WhatsApp and how do I install it

In this guide, I will explain everything you need to know about WhatsApp. Including what the application is, what you can do with it and how to install and set it up.

What is WhatsApp and how do I install it

What is WhatsApp?

With an estimated 1.5 billion active users in 180 countries, Whatsapp is one of the most popular voice and text communication applications (App) available.  It is a simple to use but powerful, secure, and encrypted messaging and calling platform.

The user is able to talk via text or video, share images, videos, links, and attachments with one person or with groups of people locally and internationally.

Is WhatsApp Free?

Yes, it is free*.  WhatsApp messenger was bought out by Facebook, Inc. in 2009 but it remains a freeware (distributed at no monetary cost to the user) software product.

*The only costs currently associated with using WhatsApp are those that you pay to your internet service provider or your mobile data provider.

What are the benefits of WhatsApp?

  • Free communications – domestic and international.
  • Encrypted and secure.
  • Speech bubbles accompanied by name – make conversations easy to view.
  • Communicate via text, voice, and video.
  • Send documents, photos, and links.
  • Group, person to person and conference ability.
  • Runs in real-time.
  • Location sharing and tracking
  • Runs on Wifi and data allowance including Edge, 3g, 4g, and 5g.
  • There are “No ads! No games! No gimmicks!”

How do I install WhatsApp?

Due to its popularity, Whatsapp is available on Android, iPhone and desktop computers (Windows and Mac).  You can download it from the Apple App store, Goole Play, the Microsoft store or directly from the WhatsApp website.

It is very simple to install but I will walk you through installing on an Apple iPhone and a Windows PC.

Install Whatsapp on Apple phone

  1. Open the Apple App Store.
  2. At the bottom right of the App store, there is a magnifying glass. Click to open the search facility.

  1. Type WhatsApp

  1. Click the Get button which is next to WhatsApp Messenger. This will start the download and then select Install.
  2. You may be asked to enter your password or confirm your identity.
  3. Once WhatsApp has downloaded and installed click Open.
  4. WhatsApp will ask you to confirm that it can access your Contacts and send you notifications, click Allow to each.

  1. Enter your phone number (without the first zero).
  2. Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
  3. WhatsApp will send a Pin number via SMS.
  4. Enter the pin number.
  5. WhatsApp is ready to use.

Install WhatsApp on a desktop computer

  1. Navigate to the Windows Store.
  2. At the top right of the Windows Store, there is a magnifying glass. Click to open the search facility.

  1. Type WhatsApp as shown above.
  2. Click WhatsApp Desktop as highlighted below

  1. Click Install.

  1. Enter your Microsoft Account username and password (if you do not have one you can create one).
  2. Click Launch.
  3. A new window will open with instructions to follow on your phone.
  4. On your phone Open Whatsapp.
  5. Tap Menu or Settings.
  6. Select WhatsApp Web.
  7. Select Scan QR Code and point the camera at QR Code (black square) to pair your desktop account with your phone account.

  1. WhatsApp is ready to use.

How to customize your WhatsApp profile

Your profile is how other users see you on the WhatsApp application. Updating your details makes it easier for others to identify you but there is no requirement to do this. If you do not enter a name then your name will be your mobile phone number, your image will be blank and your About/status will be the default. The default status is Hey there! I am using WhatsApp.

To edit your profile follow the instructions below.

iPhone

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Select Settings from the menu at the bottom of the screen.
  3. At the top of the Settings menu, you will see your profile image or camera icon. Tap it to open.
  4. You will be able to add a photo, edit your display name and update your ‘About’ status.

Android

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Select More options.
  3. Choose Settings.
  4. Tap your profile photo or the Camera icon to edit the image.
  5. You will be able to add a photo, edit your display name and update your ‘About’ status.

Desktop

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. At the top left of the screen, you will see your profile image or camera icon. Click it to open
  3. You will be able to add a photo, edit your display name and update your ‘About’ status.

The WhatsApp ‘about’ status is often used to display where you are or your availability to receive messages. You may enter your own or select from a default list of statuses such as: ‘available’, ‘busy’, ‘at school’, ‘at the movies’, etc.

How do I start a text chat in WhatsApp?

  1. Open WhatsApp,
  2. At the bottom on the screen, there is a menu, select Chats.

  1. At the top of the screen, click the new chat icon as shown below.

  1. All of the current contacts in your phone book that have WhatsApp installed will be displayed. Select any contact name to start a chat.

How do I start a group text chat in WhatsApp?

  1. Follow the instructions above. However, on the last step, instead of selecting an individual name select New Group.
  2. Click each name that you would like to add to the new Group Chat.
  3. Click Next at the top of the screen.
  4. You will be asked to name the group. Type a name (up to 25  Characters this will be visible to all participants)
  5. Select Create and the group will be created and the participants will be notified that they have been added to a group.

How do I add additional people to an existing Whatsapp group?

  1. Open the group chat.
  2. Click the name of the group at the top of the screen.
  3. This brings up the group chat info. Scroll down to where it shows the participants.
  4. Click Add Participants.
  5. Highlight the names of the people you wish to add
  6. Select Add.
  7. The additional people will be added.

How do I send someone a link to a Whatsapp group?

  1. Create or Open the group chat.
  2. Click the name of the group at the top of the screen
  3. This brings up the group chat info. Scroll down to where it shows the participants
  4. Click Invite to Group Via Link
  5. You can then choose to share the link, copy the link, or generate a QR code

How do I call someone via WhatApp by voice or video?

This feature only works on the mobile version of WhatsApp. Follow the below instructions to make a voice or video call.

  1. Open WhatsApp
  2. At the bottom of the screen select Calls from the menu

  1. At the top of the screen click the telephone Icon.

  1. All of the contacts in your phone book that have WhatsApp installed will be listed. Click the telephone or video icon next to their name to start a voice or video conversation.

If you already have an open text chat with the person you wish to start a voice or video call with then you can open the existing chat and select the telephone or video icon from the top right of the screen.

How do I start a group voice or video chat onWhatsapp?

This feature only works on the mobile version of WhatsApp. Follow the below instructions to make a groipvoice or video call.

  1. Open WhatsApp
  2. At the bottom of the screen select Calls from the menu

  1. At the top of the screen click the telephone icon.

  1. Select New Group Call.
  2. Highlight the names of the people you wish to call.
  3. Select the video or telephone icon at the top of the screen to start the Voice or video chat.

How to use WhatsApp location sharing

Location sharing or Live Location as Whatsapp refers to it, is available on the app. You can choose to share your location for a specific amount of time either with an individual or a group chat. This services is encrypted between the users which means no one you have not given permission to, will be able to view your location.

To turn on WhatsApp location sharing you will need to follow the below instructions.

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Click Chats.
  3. Select the individual or group chat that you wish to share your location with.
  4. Next to the text box select the + symbol.
  5. From the Menu, choose Location.
  6. A pop-up window will appear, with the following options. Allow while Using App, Allow once, or Don’t Allow.
  7. You will then be able to send you live location by clicking Share Live Location or alternatively select a local place to share as your location from the available list
  8. A warning will appear advising that you are going to share your location if you agree click Ok.
  9. You will start sharing your location.
  10. To stop sharing your location select Stop Sharing option within the chat window.

If you receive an error message advising that Whatsapp does not have access to your location while in the background. Follow the on-screen instructions to activate. Settings > Locations > Always.

If you want to view all the chats you are currently sharing your location with you can do this by selecting Settings > Privacy > Live Location > It will show the time left sharing and the option to stop sharing.

What is WhatsApp’s dark mode?

According to the company, this was one of the most requested features.  Dark mode is supposed to reduce the strain on eyes in low light and should contribute towards better sleep. WhatsApp will now work with this option on your mobile devices. Please note this is not just a Whatsapp feature, by enabling you will be enabling all apps and features to run in dark mode until you switch back or set time periods.

Enable Dark Mode on Apple phones = Main Settings > Display & Brightness and select Dark.

Enable Dark Mode on Andriod phones = Settings > Display and select Dark theme.

Additional links to further information

Please be sure to check official sites for more information.

  1. Official WhatsApp website
  2. WhatsApp Download Page
  3. Wikipedia WhatsApp Page
  4. Other helpful information

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One Response

  1. Kevin March 27, 2020

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