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WhatsApp is constantly updating its messaging app, especially on the Android platform. In some occasions, multiple updates are released in one day. This only shows how dedicated the developers are in ensuring a fully-working messaging platform. But the frequency of updates also mean only minor and beta versions are being released.

The latest beta version is the 2.16.179 for Android with build number 451272. It can be installed on mobile phones with Android 2.3.4 and later versions. The APK file weighs 26.51 MB.

Don’t expect a lot from the new WhatsApp beta update, as it is mainly bug fixes and improvement in stability and speed. But it does have one outstanding feature which is the addition of a new font style called FixedSys. It is smaller than the regular font and more formal. But you can still use it along with the existing font styles – bold, strikethrough and italics. To use FixedSys, just place three backticks (“`) on either side of the text to be transformed, e.g. “`Neurogadget“`.

The downside with the addition of a new font, however, is that the wait for a new stable version would be longer, what with the possibility of bugs that need fixing, following the introduced feature.

To download WhatsApp beta updates, you need to become a beta tester. Simply visit the Android store, and tap the button that says “Become a Tester”. A shortcut would be to use WhatsApp Beta Updater for Android. It’s not affiliated to WhatsApp in any way or form, but it offers an easy way to get beta updates before they are available in Google Play.

Instead of downloading the APK file and installing it manually, the Beta Updater does all these automatically. Once installed, the update will check for the latest beta version of WhatsApp and then lets you install it automatically.

Watch out for the next round of updates where a two-factor authentication process will soon be added to WhatsApp.