With over 1 billion users, WhatsApp is the largest instant messaging platform around today. Apart from being free and reliable, another laudable aspect about the platform is that it is frequently updated to squarely negate any potential threat from malware, cyber criminals, or even a fast expanding competitor.

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The latest update 2.17.12 (beta) in the Facebook-owned app’s Android version was released earlier today and it brings along an array of cool new features designed to make conversations on the platform better and easier than ever before. The major changes include:

– The ability to play videos right away without requiring to wait for them to download first. Instead of that archaic approach, the updated app will start playing video content as the download proceeds in the background.  

– Improved video calling feature (requires Android 4.1 or higher) 

– Sending and receiving animated GIFs — a father that has been long in demand from many regular users

You can download WhatsApp 2.17.12 (beta) by visiting APK Police or APK Mirror and choosing the right version. You may be prompted to allow installation from unknown sources — but that’s no big deal. You can always turn that feature off after installing the latest WhatsApp version.