WhatsApp is known to be the most popular messaging app in the world, used by over 1.2 billion people worldwide and 200 million in India alone. From increased media sharing limit to video streaming, we take a look at the new WhatsApp features released this year alone.
While going down this lane, we’ve ranked features in the order that we feel made the most impact in user experience.
Media sharing limit increased to 30
This feature is much significant because WhatsApp is one of the primary platforms for media sharing after an event, get-together, or any social meeting where pictures and videos are taken. The media limit was first at 10, and this increase to 30. This is welcomed by all users. It was first spotted in Android beta in January, but was later rolled out on all platforms eventually.
New revamped Snapchat-like Status feature
Sincerely speaking, this is one of the most important updates this year, the new Status feature was rolled out to all users globally in February. The new WhatsApp Status feature replaced the old text form of status to allow users to change their status to a short video or multiple photos that will automatically disappear in 24 hours. Even though this feature was clearly introduced to combat Snapchat competition, it overhauled the way users interacted on the app daily.
Recall or Revoke feature
The above feature is still not out in the stable version, but has been spotted on various occasions. It’s more important on a chat app because it lets you recall sent messages. The feature in the many possible forms it could arrive would allow users to recall or ‘unsend’ messages they have been sent to their contacts, or even edit them. The feature, was earlier seen on iPhone beta version, and was also spotted recently on WhatsApp Web as well.
We all know that, this feature was rolled out in February to all users as an optional security feature. With this powerful feature, users are now able to verify their number when they install the app on a new device more securely. Users will have to provide a six-digit passcode (created by them using this feature) when registering their phone number with WhatsApp again – or any attempt to verify their phone number through the app. To know how to setup two-step verification, follow the step-by-step guide here.
Ability to queue messages on iPhone
iPhone users finally got it in January. This ability to queue messages even when in areas of poor or no connectivity was a big miss for iPhone users, as it prevented them to send messages at all in areas of poor connectivity. Now, all users can just send a WhatsApp message to a group/individual even when connectivity is unavailable, and the message will be sent automatically once they get connectivity again.
All file type transfer
Now the company is rolling out support for all types of file transfers ( Most importantly, archives) on Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone with a limited number of users, removing any hindrance of file sharing on WhatsApp. This feature allows you to share video in a wide variety of formats, MP3 songs, or even APK files for that matter on WhatsApp. The file sharing limit will still be at 128MB on iOS, 64MB on Web, and 100MB on Android.
Photo Bundling, Video Streaming, Photo Filter features
WhatsApp introduced some crazy features to elevate media sharing. This includes photo bundling into an album, video streaming, and photo filters. The feature allows users to send photos and videos to your contacts as an album. WhatsApp users can now send a bunch of photos to their friends, who will receive them bundled as an album and not as before, one after another. Once the album is opened, all images are shown on a single page. The feature is already available for iPhone users and is in beta for Android users.
Night Mode, ability for Siri to read messages out loud and quick Reply button
Especially for iPhone users, WhatsApp recently introduced a new night mode feature for its camera for low-light photography. Interestingly, the Night Mode icon appears by default only when the camera sensor detects low-light conditions, and not otherwise.
In April, WhatsApp also gave more abilities to Siri. Four key highlights include – you can ask Siri to read out your latest messages; visual improvements to the Calls tab, Contact info, and Group info screens; ability to select multiple statuses at once in the My Updates screen which you can forward and delete; and support for Persian language.
Another super-interesting iPhone-only feature was the Quick Reply feature that allowed users to reply to an individual just by swiping right on a specific text in chats. This reply shortcut is particularly useful in group chats where you speak to multiple users at once.
Change Number and Live Location feature
Last but not the least, WhatsApp recently reported to be testing a new feature on the Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile platform that could make life less painful when changing your contact number. In trying to ease the transition, it is testing a feature that will notify your friends and family about your number change for you. The Live Location sharing feature was also spotted on Android beta, hinting that it will make its way to WhatsApp soon. This will presumably turn location sharing on as a broadcast – enabling contacts to see each other on a map.