How to stop making 'one of the biggest' storage mistakes on WhatsApp

WhatsApp also developing transcriptions to tame chaotic voice notes

By: News Desk      Published: 09:09 AM, 14 Sep, 2021
How to stop making 'one of the biggest' storage mistakes on WhatsApp
Representational image.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp continues to be a popular social messaging app among its users. While it has become a default texting app for many, it offers the ability to share files, documents and other media like photos and videos with the contacts.

However, it can be annoying when unwanted or unnecessary photos/videos are automatically saved by WhatsApp in your phone’s gallery. This can clutter your gallery and also eat up the storage space on your smartphone. Not to mention the data lost in downloading these files. 

Thankfully, WhatsApp offers a way-out for these unwanted downloads. Both Android and iPhone users can disable auto-download of media on their phone. 

How to stop auto download of WhatsApp photos and videos on iPhone

Open WhatsApp and go to Settings

Tap on Storage and Data

Here, you will see Media Auto-Download option for Photos, Audio, Video and Documents

You can change the function to ‘Never’ for each media individually

Doing this will stop WhatsApp from automatically downloading media files shared with you in an individual chat or via a group chat. Only the files you choose to download manually will appear. 

Further, if you don’t want these photos to appear in your iPhone’s camera roll, follow these steps: 

Head to Settings on WhatsApp

Tap on the Chats section 

Here, turn off the ‘Save to Camera Roll’ option

How to stop auto download of WhatsApp photos and videos on Android phone

Open WhatsApp and head to Settings

Here, tap on Storage and Data

You will see three options — 'When using mobile data', 'When connected on Wi-Fi', 'When roaming'.

Tap and disable auto-downloads for all media- images, audio and video

Now, when a contact will share a photo/audio/video with you on WhatsApp, it has to be downloaded manually. In case you don’t want them to appear in your phone’s photo gallery, here are the steps: 

Open the chat window on WhatsApp

Go to Settings and tap on Chat

Look for Media visibility and toggle it off

WhatsApp developing transcriptions to tame chaotic voice notes

WhatsApp is developing a feature that’ll offer transcriptions of received voice messages, letting you easily read what’s been said without having to play it out loud. The unannounced feature was initially spotted in the service’s iOS app by WABetaInfo, and WhatsApp has since confirmed that it’s in the “very early stages of designing and prototyping” the functionality. It’s unclear when it’ll hit the WhatsApp beta for iPhone users or when it’ll come to Android.

According to a screenshot shared by WABetaInfo, the feature works by sending speech data to Apple “to process your requests,” not to parent company Facebook. There’s a disclaimer that this data “will also help Apple improve its speech recognition technology.” However, in a statement, a spokesperson from WhatsApp said the feature “will be protected by end-to-end encryption” if it’s released, and that the system is designed to maintain the privacy and security of messages. 

A popup warns that transcriptions involve sending speech data to Apple.

Voice messages are a useful WhatsApp feature, particularly if you need to send a longer message and aren’t in a position to type it out. But they can sometimes cause problems for recipients who don’t have headphones and aren’t in a position to listen to a message out loud, or if they simply don’t have time to listen to a voice message in its entirety. Transcriptions could let people silently see the contents of a voice message, or reference important details later without having to scrub through audio. 

WABetaInfo reports that transcriptions are saved to the device after they’re created, and that a “Transcript” section makes it easy to skip to specific parts of a message. That’s similar to other auto-transcription software like Google’s Recorder or Otter.ai, which let you click on a word to skip to the moment it’s said in a recording. Transcribing WhatsApp voice messages is currently only possible using third-party software.

Also Read: WhatsApp users can read deleted messages with simple trick

At the moment, there’s no sign of an equivalent feature on WhatsApp’s Android app. However, given the level of feature parity between WhatsApp’s different apps, WABetaInfo speculates that it might also be on the way.–The Verge