There is a new Beta update available for those of you who use WhatsApp with Android devices. With this latest Beta we are at version 2.16.174 that weighs 27.78 MB. Unfortunately this latest update doesn’t bring any new feature, but luckily for us there are bug fixes and performance improvements, so it is advisable to install it on your Android device.
If you are a Beta Tester you can already download this latest 2.16.174 Beta version of WhatsApp for Android straight from the Google Play Store, otherwise, if you are not a Beta tester, you can download it from other safe sources such as APKMirror. During the last few months many features have been added to the app, but the one we are all waiting for is the video calling option, which a couple of months ago seemed very close to be released. What happened? Who knows …
What we do know is that the recent addition of the end-to-end encryption (the option that makes messages accessible only by the sender and recipient) is now a reality, and the debate around it never stops. And today we have some odd news reporting that WhatsApp is blocking encrypted calls to Saudi Arabia. Isn’t it strange? Let’s see what’s happening. Nadim Kobeissi, a developer famous for the encrypted chat app Criptocat, wrote a post with serious accusations toward the app.
That’s what he posted talking about WhatsApp: “chose to block calls in their apps so that the Saudi government wouldn’t blanket-block regular WhatsApp messages” adding that “Because of the way WhatsApp clients communicate with WhatsApp servers, I find it impossible to believe that the Saudi government could drop phone calls and not messages, especially at the key exchange level (which occurs bundled atop a regular Signal session!) This makes me suspect that the WhatsApp client itself is dropping calls if the caller/callee is registered with a +966 number.”
Obviously WhatsApp rejects any accusation, while Kobeissi insists on his position saying that: “I strongly urge that WhatsApp stop blocking encrypted phone calls based on phone number and allow Saudis to communicate safely. At the very least, WhatsApp should allow users with Saudi numbers to make calls when using data and WiFi networks that are outside Saudi jurisdiction.“