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WhatsApp has found a way to make your photos and videos look better

WhatsApp icon on iPhone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you use WhatsApp and you’ve ever been frustrated by photos and videos turning up fuzzy and lacking detail, there’s good news on the horizon — the popular messaging app looks to be adding a “Best quality” option to maximize detail in the media you send.

According to a report from WABetaInfo (opens in new tab), a reliable source for upcoming WhatsApp feature details, the latest version of the Android app submitted to the Google Play Beta Program adds “Best quality” to the list of options when you send a photo or video. 

Currently, WhatsApp lets you choose between “Auto (recommended)” and “Data saver,” but if you choose the former and you are on a cellular or weak Wi-Fi connection, then the app may automatically compress the media and shed considerable detail in the process.

Essentially, the “Best quality” option will let you force through media at a high-quality setting, even if it uses up more of your mobile data plan allowance. That’s ideal when you want to make sure that videos and photos aren’t degraded in the process of sending them to friends and family, for example.

The feature is currently still in testing, and it’s unknown when it will become available to all Android users, along with iOS users. Still, this is good news for anyone who has been foiled by crummy image compression when using WhatsApp.

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world with an estimated 2 billion monthly users (opens in new tab), but thankfully the Facebook-owned service hasn’t rested on its laurels.

We’ve seen a steady flow of these beta teases in recent months, including for other upcoming features such as a “View Once” feature (opens in new tab) for self-deleting messages and the ability to listen to recorded voice messages (opens in new tab) before sending them. WhatsApp is also preparing a chat migration feature that will let you move your data and across to other devices and phone numbers.

WhatsApp faced widespread blowback from users earlier this year when it announced that it would share data with Facebook, and force users to comply by agreeing to new privacy terms.

The company has since softened its stance: it said that it would not immediately force users to accept the terms, but that it would gradually disable features and functionality for such users. However, WhatsApp ultimately backed off of that plan too, and said that it would not disable any functionality (opens in new tab) for users who resist the privacy changes. 

Andrew Hayward is a freelance writer for Tom’s Guide who contributes laptop and other hardware reviews. He’s also a Senior Writer at crypto publication Decrypt covering the world of Web3. Andrew’s writing on games and tech has been published in more than 100 publications since 2006, including Rolling Stone, Vice, Polygon, Playboy, Stuff, and GamesRadar.