WhatsApp users are being warned not to send a link that will crash the app and force users to keep restarting.
The offending URL – wa.me/settings – would normally take users to the WhatsApp settings page.
But when the URL is sent in an individual or group chat, it will crash WhatsApp and force users to reopen the app – although it’s not clear why.
When the app restarts, it appears to work normally again, unless users try to open the chat containing the link.
The so-called ‘crash loop’ bug will keep on affecting Android users until the message containing the link is deleted (file photo)
The annoying bug only appears to be an issue for Android phones, meaning iOS and desktop apps are not affected.
How to fix the bug
– If you have an Android, use WhatsApp for desktop to remove the message containing the URL
– WhatsApp for desktop can be downloaded to Windows PCs and linked to you account using a QR code
– Or ask your chat participant(s) to delete the message (although they may only be able to do this if they aren’t using WhatsApp on Android)
So any Android users who are experiencing it might have to use the desktop version of WhatsApp to delete the message containing the URL.
WhatsApp for desktop can be easily downloaded for Windows PCs and linked to an account using a QR code and a smartphone.
Alternatively those affected can ask their chat partner or partners to delete the message, although they may only be able to do this if they’re not using WhatsApp on Android.
The so-called ‘crash loop’ bug was spotted by Twitter user @pandyaMayur11 and reported by Android Authority.
‘Don’t send this message to anyone chat otherwise it will crash WhatsApp (happened only in Android),’ said @pandyaMayur11 in a tweet.
‘If already send it than [sic] use WhatsApp web or desktop application to delete this.’
Another user said on Twitter that ‘childish people’ on WhatsApp were sending the URL to group chats to deliberately cause problems for their fellow users on Android devices.
One user said on Twitter that ‘childish people’ on WhatsApp were sending the URL to group chats to deliberately cause problems for Android users.
MailOnline has contacted Meta, the firm run by Mark Zuckerberg that owns and operates WhatsApp, for comment.
It follows news that WhatsApp may be developing the ability to set up a WhatsApp username, which could let users message people without a phone number.
According to leaker site, WABetaInfo, the feature is currently in development and will be available in a future update of the app.
WhatsApp recently announced users can get their WhatsApp account on up to four additional phones, or five in total.
WhatsApp users can link these four extra ‘companion’ smartphones by scanning QR codes using their primary phone.
The feature suits those who have a phone for work and a phone for personal use but still want all their chats under a single WhatsApp account – although some said mistrusting couples will try to log into their partner’s account.
WhatsApp, first released in 2009, was designed to send the equivalent of text messages but via the internet.
For this reason, a WhatsApp account has always been closely tied to an individual phone number, although more recently it’s become possible to link several non-phone devices to an account too.
The Meta-owned app is developing the ability to set up a WhatsApp username, according to leaker site WABetaInfo
In 2021, WhatsApp started letting users connect up to four additional non-phone devices such as PCs and tablets to their account, independently of a phone.
This means a user has been able to have, for example, their phone, two tablets and two PCs all running the same single WhatsApp account.
This feature had rolled out globally by 2022, but WhatsApp went a step further by introducing the ability to use the same WhatsApp account on multiple phones too.
It follows news that WhatsApp developers are working on bringing animated emojis to the platform, according to independent experts WABetaInfo.
A GIF of the new emoji in action shows the ‘Face with Party Horn and Party Hat’ emoji spinning around while blowing a party horn.
One of WhatsApp’s primary rivals, Telegram, already has animated emoji, leading to accusations from some users on Twitter that WhatsApp is ‘stealing’ the idea.
BEST WHATSAPP ALTERNATIVES
If you’re considering deleting WhatsApp, you’ll be happy to hear that there are several alternative apps to choose from:
With more than 400 million users, Telegram is one of the most popular WhatsApp alternatives.
While it looks very similar to WhatsApp, what sets it apart is the fact that it gives the option to set messages to self-destruct after a given period of time, leaving no trace.
Telegram also offers end-to-end encryption.
However, as a WhatsApp spokesperson pointed out, Telegram ‘does not offer end-to-end encryption by default so it’s not necessarily more secure than WhatsApp’.
Signal is one of the most secure messaging apps, thanks to the fact that it is open-source.
This means that the code for the app is publicly available to view, making it near-impossible for the app’s creators to sneak in any backdoors that could allow governments or hackers to spy on your messages.
If you use an iPhone, you may consider simply switching to iMessage, Apple’s own messaging app.
The app has a number of impressive features included no character limits, the ability to send pictures and videos, and of course Apple’s animated emoji feature, Animoji.
Unfortunately, iMessage is only available for iPhone users, so you’ll struggle to interact with anyone using an Android.
4. Google Messages
Google’s answer to iMessage is Google Messages, an Android-only messaging service.
The app replaces your standard SMS app, and integrates with all of Google’s apps and services, making it easy to share images or use Google Assistant.
5. Facebook Messenger
If you were put off using WhatsApp due to its sharing of data with Facebook, Facebook Messenger may not be the best option for you.
However, the app offers a number of helpful features, including games, secret conversations and video calls.
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