WhatsApp is testing a new compression method for images

WhatsApp is known for continuing to push incremental updates and under the hood features to its app to improve performance and stability. One of these updates though could go a long way in improving the quality of the text you see on images shared across the app and by quality we mean visibility-wise and not necessarily content-wise.

WhatsApp Beta info site WABetaInfo is reporting that WhatsApp is testing a new method of compressing images that goes a little soft on the text embedded in them. According to the report, WhatsApp will scan images shared to determine if there’s any textual content in them and if it finds some, it will compress the images in a different way to ensure the text doesn’t get unnecessarily compressed. This could result in text in images retaining its sharpness while still leading to a reduced file-size as compared to what would be in the absence of compression.

The feature is being tested in beta version 2.17.339 of the app on Android with it being disabled on iOS for now, although it should make it to Apple’s platform in the near future. WhatsApp will continue to use its older method to compress images without text in them. For some users, this may well be another privacy concern in that if WhatsApp can make out text from images, it shouldn’t be significantly harder to make out the content of the text either. But that is a discussion for another time; for now we await the feature’s public roll out which is uncertain at this point as to when will it happen.