WhatsApp changes are coming – but only for iPhone users

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WhatsApp is about to make an unexpected change to its iPhone app, which will make it trickier for you to share images, webpages and other interesting snippets with your contacts on the service.

Earlier this year, WhatsApp introduced a new context menu option to make it easy to send content to your contacts in the app. Just open the context menu (by either long-pressing on whatever you want to share, or using 3D Touch) and you could scroll through your recently used WhatsApp contacts, and share the item without having to open the messaging app first.

It was a small update, but a handy one that cut out a frustrating step and made it simple to send links and memes to your friends on a whim.

However, as WABetaInfo (opens in new tab) reports, the option has been removed from the latest beta release, and is likely to be purged from the release candidate soon too.

Sharing is off the menu

WhatsApp has recently introduced several measures to stem the flow of misinformation in the light of the coronavirus pandemic, including making it easier to fact-check messages and introducing a Coronavirus info hub. It has also put a limit on the number of times a messages can be shared to stop untruths going viral.

However, this new change is seemingly unrelated to these measures, and is instead an attempt to make the app more stable. Although the updated context menu was a good idea in theory, users reported frequent crashes when using it.

As Digit (opens in new tab) explains, the carousel of contacts has now been replaced by a simple WhatsApp icon. Tapping this opens the app, which you can then use to select who to share the item with.

It's a minor inconvenience, but it's good to see that WhatsApp (and parent company Facebook) is taking time to ensure the app is as stable as possible at a time when millions of people are relying on it to keep in contact with friends and loved ones.

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Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)