Amidst a host of messenger apps and competition, Whatsapp has to be commended for its longevity and, for most part, consistency. Over the past few years, the Facebook-owned messenger service has mostly dominated the market, with the app’s connection to users’ mobile phone numbers making the service suitable for any kind of use: work or otherwise.
However, while other messenger services such as WeChat and Facebook Messenger have added to their repertoire of features over the past few years, Whatsapp has remained largely dormant—other than incremental upgrades here and there.
But Whatsapp has been rolling out beta programs which suggest that a number of pretty interesting features are finally coming to future official versions of Whatsapp—here’s quick breakdown of what to expect:
1. Share status updates to other apps via Whatsapp
Whatsapp beta testers for Android version 2.19.183 have reported that they can share their status to other apps on iOS and Android versions. This includes Facebook, Instagram, and even Google apps like Google Photos and Gmail. Interestingly, this will not be an automatic process. Instead, this will be the “active decision” where your Whatsapp and FB/Instagram/Google account will not be linked.
This feature does seem likely, given Mark Zuckerberg’s plans to integrate Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp. At the moment it’s unclear when this will be rolled out officially, so watch this space.
2. In case you’ve sent pictures to the wrong contact
In case you’ve ever sent images to the wrong contact, Whatsapp has rolled out a beta feature that allows users to view the recipient’s name while writing a caption for the image sent. This feature is already present for iOS versions, but could possibly make its way to Android. Currently, the app shows the image of recipients in the top left-hand corner of the screen when an image is being selected and edited by the user. This new update would show you the recipient’s name below the caption in the screen when sending videos, images, and the like.
3. Night mode
The Financial Express reports that WhatsApp is currently working on a night mode version of its platform. Night Mode will be similar to Android’s Dark Mode, and will help smartphones with OLED panels save their battery life, ease the strain on your eyes, and of course, look a whole lot sexier.
4. Scan QR codes to add contacts
According Financial Express, WhatsApp users will be able to add contacts by scanning other users’ WhatsApp QR codes. Each user will get a unique QR code which other WhatsApp users can scan and add to their contact lists. This would definitely be a welcome addition, with the feature already heavily used on other apps such as WeChat.
5. New, tidier album layout
WhatsApp’s iOS version will also be getting a cleaner album layout. A new update will bring the ability to put together multiple photos in one bubble on WhatsApp Chats. The app will also display a number of pictures which are in the album bubble.
At the moment, not all of the features above are available on the latest updates on iOS and Android versions, with certain upgrades still exclusive to beta testers. I’d advise you to sign up for Whatsapp’s beta program to experiment, but the program is currently full. You can always check back for the next round of beta testing, though.