WhatsApp has rolled out a new update for its beta programme on Android that will allow users to send high definition photos. Currently, the Facebook-owned messaging platform compresses high quality images for lesser sending times and data saving. With the new option, users will be able to choose the quality of images they send in chats.

The ‘photo upload quality’ option provides three choices – Auto, Best quality and Data saver, according to WABetaInfo, a portal that tracks updates for WhatsApp across platforms. The option window warns that images send under ‘Best quality’ are larger and can take longer to send.

WhatsApp users can select the ‘Best quality’ option to send HD photos. Notably, the messaging app will still compress photos, just by not as much. The new image compression algorithm employed by WhatsApp compresses images by keeping 80 per cent of the original quality and resizing them only if the resolution is greater than 2048×2048, WABetaInfo reported.

The older configuration kept only 70 per cent of the original quality and large images were always resized.

Considering that this feature is in beta stage, WhatsApp might choose to tweak the parameters for image compression in future updates, possibly increasing the percentage of original quality that is retained.

The feature has only appeared on Android so far, and there is no word when it will be rolled out for iOS users.

In an earlier update for Android beta users, WhatsApp had introduced end-to-end encrypted backups. This was meant to allow encryption for chat history and media, protecting them from unauthorised access.

However, the feature had to be temporarily pulled down due to a connection issue. It might appear in future WhatsApp updates

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