Barely a week after launching the much awaited video-calling feature which arrived with a pretty simple user interface on the stable channel for the public on all the platforms including Android, iOS, and Windows, WhatsApp has now started testing another feature to improve the mechanism of its video playback feature.
According to the new update, WhatsApp will now allow its users to watch the shared videos while they are being downloaded in the background. This feature is being tested on the beta channel of the WhatsApp app version 2.16.365 on the Android platform. The update is expected to be rolled out soon even to the stable channel of the app.
The new feature of WhatsApp beta version 2.16.365 for the Android users which allows sharing of streaming video will use a Wi-Fi connection or mobile cellular data in order to buffer a shared video, while it is still in the process of downloading in the background. Previously, WhatsApp users were made to wait until a video has been completely downloaded before they could watch it, which of course also depended upon the auto-download setting of the app. The new feature of streaming videos online on WhatsApp is similar to that of YouTube, wherein the users will be able to view parts of the video that have already been buffered.
Here’s How it Works
So now, when a video has been sent on WhatsApp, the user will be able to see a play icon in place of the regular download button, provided the user has been registered as a Beta tester for the WhatsApp Android app. The size of the video will be mentioned in a dialogue box that is present at the bottom of the video. As soon as the user hits the play button, the video will start getting streamed, which depends upon the speed of the Internet connection. While it is streaming, the video will keep playing inside WhatsApp, but once it is downloaded, the instant messaging app will prompt the user to choose a default video player or MX Player etc.
This feature is still in its experimental stages and so has been introduced as of now only to the beta testers of the WhatsApp app for the Android platform. The users will have to sign up on the Google Play Store to register themselves as a beta tester. Looks like the iOS users of WhatsApp will have to wait a bit before the feature arrives on their platform. It is worth noting that the feature will work only if the video is shared by a Beta user of the WhatsApp Android version, otherwise, only the download option will be shown if a regular user shares a video.
It is very clear that WhatsApp is looking at taking videos way forward towards the future and so has been working hard in this direction. The video calling feature that was spotted on the Android beta channel almost a year back has become a highly-anticipated feature since the time of its launch. With the latest video streaming feature, WhatsApp has worked in a way which makes sure that the users save a little space on their devices since previewing the video prior to downloading it will now make it easier for them to decide if a video should be downloaded or not.
Previously, WhatsApp had launched the video calling feature on its app which uses the Internet to place a video call, very much like the Skype video call. WhatsApp had mentioned recently after the launch of the feature that it had optimized the video calling feature in areas that have poor internet connectivity, which is very much prevalent in countries like India.