WhatsApp on iOS just got a big upgrade for sharing photos and videos

Two iPhones on a green background showing the WhatsApp app
(Image credit: Future)

WhatsApp is clearly keen to cement its place as the default place that you share snaps with friends and family – a new update to its iOS app now lets you send photos and videos to friends in "original quality".

Back in August, WhatsApp introduced a new option to send HD photos on iOS, Android and desktop. While that was an improvement, it still involved some compression – so now the messaging app is bringing an uncompressed option to iOS users, as spotted by WABetaInfo.

To get the new 'original quality' option for photos and videos, you'll need version 23.24.73 of WhatsApp on iOS, which is rolling out "over the coming weeks" (although it's already available for us in the App Store).

Once that's installed, the process of sending uncompressed media is pretty simple. Just tap the '+' icon in any chat, go to Document, tap 'choose photo or video' and pick the file you want to send. You'll get the usual option to add a caption, then you just tap the blue 'send' icon to fire it off. 

An iPhone on a green background showing the WhatsApp app

(Image credit: Future)

There are a couple of limitations. Firstly, files are still limited to 2GB, so you can't treat WhatsApp as your unlimited cloud backup service. Also, photos and videos sent in this way are displayed a file icon in your chat history, rather than as a little preview of the image itself. 

Still, if you've shot a particularly memorable photo or video on your iPhone and want to share it while preserving its original quality, the new feature is worth looking out for – particularly if there are some people in your WhatsApp group who know a thing or two about editing.

When is it coming to Android?

An iPhone on a green background showing the WhatsApp app

(Image credit: Future)

This new WhatsApp feature, which was available to iOS beta users last month, is a nice little upgrade for iPhone owners who want preserve the quality of their shared photos or send image files to friends for editing.

So when is it coming to Android? WhatsApp has also been testing it in beta for Android since September – so while there isn't an official release date yet, it's surely en route.

You can already share larger image files on Android by using the existing Document share option, though that's largely aimed at text files. This feature is a little more user-friendly for photos and videos, so we imagine WhatsApp will launch it on Android soon (if not for desktop).

The lack of an image preview option means it's likely to be a more niche option than the usual method of sharing compressed snaps with your family, but we can certainly see it being an occasionally handy alternative to sharing a Drive or Google Photos link.

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Mark Wilson
Senior news editor

Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at both TechRadar and Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.