WhatsApp continues working on "Delete Messages" feature which is a new name of "Disappearing Messages" revealed by WABetaInfo in the past.
The feature allows users to set chat messages to be removed after a certain period of time. This feature can be considered as "Cloned from Snapchat" where it was one of the essential features available from the beginning. Is it an attempt from Facebook to keep the young audience on the platform?
The dark mode is not there yet but this one of the first elements of it which you can try by yourself right now. If you will turn dark mode on your device, WhatsApp will automatically change the background wallpaper of your chat to dark. This feature is available in WhatsApp beta v2.19.327
This time WhatsApp team took an interesting approach to release just a part of the feature and not full dark mode support as it was with Instagram for example. Does it mean that Instagram has a better codebase that is easier to change?
WhatsApp for Android continues its internal testing of Dark Mode support according to a recent report from @wabetainfo It is important to mention that it is not available to anyone yet and all screenshots were discovered via APK reverse-engineering.
According to shared screenshots, there will be a "Theme" section in settings with 3 options - "Light", "Dark" and "System Default". This looks like a very standard dark mode feature implementation which you can find in many other apps already.
Group calling in WhatsApp Messenger has been around for quite a while now, and with the newest update released for the app, it becomes a lot simpler. Before giving you all of the details about it, below is the changelog for version 2.19.118 that has been posted on the Play Store and on which you should take a glimpse at.
- It’s now easier to start group voice and video calls. Just tap the call button in groups or select "New group call" when starting a new call in the calls tab. Group calls support up to 4 participants.
As said in the release notes for the aforementioned update, it is now much easier to start a group call. You have to go to the calls tab, hit the green FAB button below, select the participants and then choose whether you would like to start a voice call or do a video chat instead. The maximum number of participants allowed in group calls is four, the caller included.
This feature is currently in a staged rollout so it may take some time for it to hit your devices. Meanwhile, please, be patient and stay tuned to TestingCatalog for our daily update reports and valuable tips for app testers.
Source: Google Play
The newest WhatsApp beta packs the initial version of the long-awaited dark mode, but it can't be enabled (V2.19.82 beta)
There have been numerous rumors flying around the Internet about WhatsApp bringing a dark mode since last year, and yet here we are finally with proof. As you may know, @WABetaInfo is the guy who loves tearing down WhatsApp updates and posts his findings online. His latest discoveries do come for version 2.19.82 beta update and consist of screenshots that showcase the upcoming and currently work-in-progress dark theme for WhatsApp's Android app as well as one more not so exciting feature.
The current implementation of dark/night mode, as shared, is still in development and there is no easy way to enable, though, @WABetaInfo has been able to successfully get it working. The screen grabs posted on his blog clearly show that WhatsApp is betting on a very dark background color and not black, which, I am sure, many of you would prefer instead. Also, those are only for the settings portion of the app, thus, so far we do not know how the chats would look like.
Starting with version 2.19.82 beta, the app now displays audio filenames in chat threads. Those do appear inside message bubbles with attached audio files on them and below the corresponding progress bars.
WhatsApp's newest incentive may come as surprise to you as it is to me as well, but something possibly quite useful is on its way.
But before giving you any further details, first, it is time for a little bit of a backstory. So, to this moment, stickers from third-party keyboard apps that have their custom implementations are being sent as static images instead. To resolve this minor problem, WhatsApp has decided to partner with keyboard app developers to allow deeper integration, and thus provide a totally seamless experience, whether you want to use the built-in stickers or any other alternatives.
WhatsApp to bring Fingerprint and Face authentication options, plus a separate section for sending audio files (v2.19.x betas)
After the Christmas / New Year break three new WhatsApp beta updates hit the Play Store. Two of them have hidden features that are still work-in-progress, but thanks to @WABetaInfo, we got to see an early preview of them and we are going to share our findings with you guys.
Videos in picture-in-picture mode and private replies from group chats rolling out with WhatsApp 2.18.385
WhatsApp's updates and feature roll-outs are quite hard to keep track of, but we are doing our best at making sure that you get informed about anything new and worthy as soon as it becomes available. Meanwhile, the 2.18.385 beta release can be downloaded from the Play Store and it comes with two important features, but before everything, let's see what the official changelog says.
- When you receive a link to a video from places like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, you can now play it right within WhatsApp. With picture-in-picture, you can keep watching the video while you chat.
- You can now reply to a group message privately in your 1:1 chat. Tap and hold a message in a group chat and select ‘Reply privately’.
PIP mode for videos
Picture-in-picture mode, supported by devices running Android Oreo 8.0 and above, actually brings multitasking to a whole new level. While you can still use multi-window, this way you can watch videos, move them around freely and continue using your phone. WhatsApp's PIP mode is a welcome addition, though, at the moment, it does not work properly at least with YouTube videos. Tapping on the play button shows that the video is going to start playing in picture-in-picture mode, but then comes up a pop-up asking to chose an app to open the URL. Also, for this to work, you may need to manually allow WhatsApp to utilize this mode by opening your Settings app. For devices with stock-like software, you should be able to find it by heading into the Apps & notifications section - Special app access - Picture-in-picture.
Private replies in group chats
If you want to continue a conversation from a group chat with a particular member of it, there is now a new button, which lets you reply privately. It can be selected from a menu, but to see that one, first, you will have to long-press on a message to highlight it and then tap on the three-dot menu key in the action bar.
Source: Google Play
Here we are yet again with another WhatsApp Messenger update to test out thoroughly. This particular beta brings many changes to the way emojis look and fixes sticker related issues that were appearing for some users using prior versions of the app.
The total number of redesigned emojis is 373 and all of them have some minor, but still noticeable tweaks. For example, some of them now have lighter shadows, brighter highlights, different colors and object alignments. All of these changes result in overall more pleasing, though flat-looking emojis.
Fixes for stickers
After the activation of the sticker feature in earlier versions of WhatsApp, there were also reports that some users were actually not able to select items from the list with stickers. The newest update apparently resolves these issues, but if you are still unable to select stickers, be sure to file a bug report. For those who are not familiar with the way to do so, please, take a look at our guide, which briefly explains "How to report bugs for WhatsApp Messenger on Android".
Both, the tweaked emoji set and sticker fixes, are available for all beta testers who have the latest 2.18.384 release of WhatsApp installed on their devices.
WhatsApp 2.18.373 beta expands the new group calling shortcut to more users, adds multi-file sharing and sticker search too
We are once again greeted with a new WhatsApp Messenger beta update for Android, which packs some hidden features that may come in handy in the future when they get launched, while the version number gets a number bump to 2.18.373.
Multiple file sharing
For your information, in version 2.18.66 they have actually enabled for all early adopters multiple text file sharing that required you to share a text file at least to two or more contacts from another application. Seems like their next decision is to expand this functionality by adding support for other kinds of file formats, which is currently under early development. Based on insight information shared by @WABetaInfo, you can preview audio files before sending them, which is convenient, but it raises this question - Can we preview other types of files and when will this be released officially?
Group call shortcut
We covered in our last WhatsApp report about versions 2.18.362 and 2.18.363 the new shortcut for group calling. You can see what it is and how it works from here. This release supposedly enables it for some users, but the roll-out is a bit slow right now.
Just like GIF searching, WhatsApp will soon start offering a quick option to search for stickers in your collection. There is a trick you can try, which is said to successfully enable it, and here is what you have to do:
- Tap on a sticker that you have received.
- Select View More.
Then you will be presented with a magnifying glass search button, which is hidden by default.
Note that this workaround does not work for everyone, but fingers crossed that it works for some of you at least! Something else for you guys to remember is that the WhatsApp app may automatically hide this button whenever it gets restarted, so you may need to repeat the procedure.
WhatsApp is testing consecutive voice messages and a new group calling shortcut in beta versions 2.18.362 and 2.18.363
Discovered by @WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is indeed in a testing phase for two new features in the latest beta versions of their Android app. The corresponding updates have build numbers 2.18.362 and 2.18.363, with the most up-to-date one at the time of writing being v2.18.364, which has not introduced any notable changes that we are certainly aware of.
Consecutive voice messages
Let's say that someone has sent you two or more voice messages in a row. Whenever you hit the play button to start listening to the first one, with this feature set in place, the WhatsApp app will go ahead and play all of the other voice messages in the particular chat that are consecutive, without you needing to start each and all of them manually. Other than that, it will give a short audio signal to notify you when a voice message has ended, before switching to the next one in the queue.
There are two types of different tones for this quick alert here: one of them takes place when a voice message has been played back and there is another one coming up, with the second type confirming that there are no any other messages to be played. So, this is exactly why the name "consecutive voice messages" has been chosen. Albeit that WhatsApp users on IOS already have it with v2.18.100, we - Android users will have to wait for a while until it hits the shelves.
A new group call shortcut
Making group calls in WhatsApp has always been a tragedy. Seems like a fix for it is finally showing up on the horizon, or rather a relief for some, as in the works is a new shortcut coming to groups, tapping on which will ask you who do you want to call from the group and do you want to make a voice call, or a video call instead. Previously, to start a group call, users had to call one person, and later on add other participants.
All of the upcoming features that we talked about are still in active development, so stay tuned to be informed about the time that they get officially released.
New WhatsApp betas bring Unicode 11 emojis and search, private replies in groups, and forwarding previews
WhatsApp Messenger, after the release of Unicode 11.0 back in June this year, finally joins the party of the first companies to include support for it in their proprietary software products. Version 11.0 is possibly the biggest improvement emojis have ever seen, with hundreds of new ones and many skin tone variants for those with faces. There are some interesting ones such as the raccoon, hippo, DNA and superhero/supervillain emojis. You can also check the full list of all of the additions to the Emoji 11.0.
Search for emojis
One weird thing that I came across with WhatsApp v2.18.349 beta is that the new emojis do not show up on my device. But to my surprise, there is a search option for emojis. You can find it in the emojis pane, where a magnifying glass icon is displayed on the bottom left and selecting it greets you with a search box.
Previews before forwarding messages
Spotted in WhatsApp beta for Android v2.18.325 beta is an option that lets you forward a message or a media file to two and more chats. Before doing the aforementioned action, it shows a preview screen, so you can confirm or cancel the operation.
If there is something that you want to talk about privately with a particular participant in a group chat regarding a discussed topic and you do not want to involve the whole group, there is a new option for you. You can now long-press on a message in a group chat and select the 'Reply privately' entry. It will forward you to the chat page with the person and automatically quote the message that you want to reply to. It has been noticed in v3.18.335 beta.
The biggest improvement with the current wave of beta updates comes with the added support for Unicode 11 emojis, which will let you express yourself even better.
The newly released sticker pack support for WhatsApp opens up a whole new world for Android developers and enthusiasts. They can now develop their own sticker packs for everyone's beloved messaging app with pretty much no extra work involved. For our first look at this feature and some great news, please visit "WhatsApp stickers come to life in the latest betas, the official rollout is on its way".
To start with, there are a handful of things you have to download first. WhatsApp has provided source code for a sticker pack sample app on GitHub, which at a later time you will have to import into Android Studio and build your own one on top of it. But, if you are not familiar with Android development at all, visit Google's guide for setting up a build environment and building apps.
Okay, so after you have all of the things set up, now you can start preparing your sticker images. Make sure to follow every size, resolution and format restriction in place written on this README.md file from the official Stickers repository. It contains a helpful amount of tips for optimizing all of the graphical resources that need to be included as well.
Building the app
If everything above has been done, then it is time to build your first sticker pack app:
- Import the downloaded source code into Android Studio.
- Navigate to SampleStickerApp/app/src/main/assets/1 and replace the sample stickers with your own ones.
- Replace the sample tray icon PNG with your own tray icon.
- To add more sticker packs, simply create new folders named 2, 3 and so on inside the assets folder.
- Modify the attributes below accordingly in SampleStickerApp/app/src/main/assets/contents.json:
- emoji (optional)
- android_app_store_link (optional)
- publisher_website (optional)
- privacy_policy_website (optional)
- license_agreement_website (optional)
- Change the app's launcher icon, name, and id.
- Build the app.
Note: If your app has more than 1 sticker pack, you will need to reference it in contents.json. For more details: README.md file on GitHub
Submit your app to the Google Play Store
To do this, you need to test your app and then build a release version by clicking on Build - Generate Signed Bundle/APK. For further details, take a look at https://developer.android.com/studio/publish/app-signing#sign-apk and https://developer.android.com/studio/run.
Be sure to include the keyword "WAStickerApps" in your app's description when setting it up on the Google Play Store console, so it appears in the list with search results, initiated from WhatsApp. To submit your app to the Play Store, follow the instructions here: https://developer.android.com/distribute/best-practices/launch
The opportunity given to developers as a concept to release a new app leads to endless possibilities in regards to ideas and variations. Users will also benefit from this because now they have even more stickers to choose from.
Even though a little late, WhatsApp now also joins the party of apps that have added support for sticker packs in the form of the latest beta releases. The updates you should be looking for are coming with version number 2.18.329 and above, that are enabling sticker packs. But WhatsApp developers are in some kind of a server-side testing mood, so it is not available for everyone as of now. They also announced that this feature will go live for everyone over the coming weeks, so be on the lookout.
As we mentioned above, the stickers feature is being enabled through a server-side switch, but besides that, there are two other ways to trigger it. If you send a sticker in a chat from WhatsApp Web, or someone else sends you one, this may work out. By the way, we are not 100% sure, but there are reports that this trick successfully switches it on. Furthermore, reported by @WABetaInfo on Twitter, downloading an external sticker pack from the Play Store is something different that you can try. For example, you can install MOON Stickers for WhatsApp, which should enable it as well.
The stickers button lies next to the emoji and GIFs icons at the bottom of a panel, which shows up when you tap on the smiley icon next to a text box. From there is access in tabbed fashion to your most recently used stickers, your favorites, packs, or the section to add and manage by touching the '+' sign.
In other words:
- Open WhatsApp and enter a chat.
- Tap on the smiley icon in the bottom left corner.
- Click on the third button on the row above the navigation bar.
- For extra settings and packs, select the '+' button.
To favorite a sticker - long-pressing on it.
Somewhat of an interesting choice that stood out to me is the way WhatsApp shows up stickers next to one another. By that, I mean that it displays two in a row, which saves a lot of screen space. Another thing I would like to point out is that stickers in packs are categorized by the sentiment behind them.
We have some great news. Creating custom sticker packs for WhatsApp is a possibility, and perhaps very easy to do. Follow this guide on WhatsApp's blog, which explains everything you have to know. Spoiler alert! Sticker packs can be published on the Play Store.
The intention behind stickers is expressing your emotions even better, but between emojis, GIFs and stickers, I am pretty sure that everyone is going agree here that the confusion with questions like when and what to use is raising. It is good though that we still have choices, and ignore everything.
What can be improved about this feature and is this something that you were waiting for? Please, tell us in the comments.
WhatsApp is growing its functionality and it finally got a swipe to reply feature. It allows you to use a swipe gesture to reply instead of a long tap on the message plus button tap.
Everything which helps you to deal with your day to day activity faster is a very good improvement. This feature becomes even more helpful in groups when you want to reply to the specific message.
In order to use this feature, you will need to have the latest beta app. If you are not a beta user you can check this post about "how to become a beta tester for WhatsApp".
This feature is a client-side and available to everyone. To use a swipe gesture to reply you need to swipe a message to the right. The app will also vibrate back and you will see a swiped message in the reply box. Normally I would do it before typing a message but if you typed your text and realized that you forgot to add a reference - you can always do it at any time.
I would also say that this feature is a must for a messenger these days and WhatsApp was a bit behind others. For example, Telegram X has this feature for a long time already.