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WhatsApp is getting a huge free update on your smartphone and laptop

WhatsApp continues to be one of the most popular ways to talk and text in the UK, replacing text messages and traditional phone calls for millions who now prefer to type away in the green coloured app and make calls using it instead of the dialler on their iPhone or Android phone – whether that’s voice of video calls. This week, WhatsApp announced it is bringing another update to WhatsApp calling in an attempt to make it even better.

Rolling out over the next few weeks, WhatsApp is bringing screen sharing with audio to your calls and video calls, which the Meta-owned firm says will be better for watching videos with a group of people. You can share your screen and when doing so can also share your audio.

It will make WhatsApp act a little more like Microsoft Teams or Zoom, and means it could be a great way to share work presentations. These updates are coming to both the mobile and desktop versions of WhatsApp, so if you need a larger screen for this you’ll be able to take advantage.

The update will also allow you to have up to 32 people on a video call if you’re on your Apple Mac or Windows PC – until now the limit has been a measly eight. Mobile continues to be able to manage 32 callers, which again shows WhatsApp could be trying to steal business users away from some of its video calling competitors. It could also prove very handy for those last minutes Euro 2024 sweepstake video calls you probably still need to organise.

Finally, this bumper update will also add a feature called ‘speaker spotlight’ that will highlight the video call box of the person talking and make sure they appear first on your screen no matter the size. Yet again, this is a feature we all got used to on Zoom when in lockdown and now is a table stakes addition for video conferencing software.

“We also remain relentlessly focused on audio and video quality, for clearer calls no matter where you are,” WhatsApp said in an email sent to Express.co.uk.

“We recently launched MLow codec which improves call reliability. Calls made on mobile devices benefit from improved noise and echo cancellation, making it easier to have calls in noisy environments, and video calls have higher resolution for those with faster connections. Audio is crisper overall, even if you have poor network connectivity or are using an older device.”

These upgrades will clearly benefit workers who use WhatsApp to catch up remotely but upgraded audio quality is always welcome for the video catch ups we like to have with friends and family. Keep an eye out for the update as it’ll magically appear on your WhatsApp if you have automatic app updates turned on. Otherwise, head to your Apple App Store or Google Play Store to update the app.

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