Update: 26/10/2018: WhatsApp for Android now support stickers and switch-to-reply feature
WhatsApp keeps on rolling out new features and updates in order to enhance the user experience. Here are all the important changes included in WhatsApp this year.
1. WhatsApp Payments
After months of talking and testing, Facebook-owned WhatsApp finally rolled out the payments feature for its Android and iOS users. The payment feature is powered by UPI which enables users to send and receive money easily.
The company revealed that in order to use the feature, both the sender and receiver should have the UPI payment option enabled.
2. Delete for everyone
The Delete for Everyone feature comes really handy as it allows users to delete any message they have sent by mistake.
In order to use the feature, users just have to select the message they wish to delete and then click on the delete icon. Earlier, the feature allowed users to delete the message within 7 minutes of sending it, but now it has increased the time limit to 68 minutes.
3. Group description feature
WhatsApp groups are an easy way to communicate with many people at the same time. Keeping in mind the importance of groups, the company has rolled out the Group description feature.
The new feature enables users to add up to 500 characters’ description for the members of any group. Presently, every member of the group is allowed to add or change the description.
Once the description is added, the group chat gets a notification as well that ‘Person’s name has changed the group description. Tap to view.’ If you remove the description, that gets recorded on the group chat too.
4. Group video calling
With the introduction of video calling feature in WhatsApp, users were able to make video calls with ease.
In order to further enhance the user experience, the popular messaging app rolled out the feature of group video calling. Users can now add more members to an ongoing video call by tapping on the icon placed on the top right corner of the screen.
5. WhatsApp for Business
Facebook-owned WhatsApp introduced the WhatsApp for Business app in India earlier this year. The app enables business/enterprise owners to interact with their customers and also manage their presence on the platform.
The company claims that the app consists of verified business profiles and offers features like Quick Replies, Greeting Messages and Away Messages.
6. Location and time stickers
This feature of WhatsApp enables users to add location and time stickers to any photo or video while sharing them. Users just need to select a photo from the smartphone gallery and then tap on the smiley icon in the app.
Users will then notice the sticker section of smileys, time stamps and location stamps present. Further, users will now see a dial clock or time sticker with the present time and location. Then you can tap on the sticker and share the video or photo with your friends.
7. Voice-to-video call switch
WhatsApp also offers a feature which enables users to switch between video call and voice call. Users will see a hidden switch, which when pulled, jumps from voice to video calling.
However, it won’t start the video call right away. The other party would need to give consent before allowing it.
8. Apple Carplay too gets WhatsApp integration
The popular messaging app managed to meet Apple’s strict rules and it introduced the support for Apple’s CarPlay technology. The update offers push notifications which will enable iPhone and iPad users to communicate with their contacts while they are on the go.
9. WhatsApp YouTube integration
WhatsApp YouTube integration allows users to view YouTube videos directly in the chat window. With this new feature, users just need to click on the YouTube link present in the chat window. After this, the video will start playing in chat itself. The YouTube video will be played in a small bubble and users will have to ability to increase or decrease the size of that bubble.
10. WhatsApp adaptive icons
The adaptive icon feature is part of Android Oreo operating system and now WhatsApp has also rolled out support for the same. This enables users to change the shape of the WhatsApp logo as per their choice.
The new icon is placed in an encased mask, which takes shape on the basis of your choice. The company says that if the user is using a launcher that offer support for these icons then they can set it to default shape which is square, squircle, circle, rounded square and teardrop.
11. Location sharing with other users
WhatsApp introduced the live location sharing feature last year, which enables users to send their real-time location to any of their contacts.
In order to share the live location, the users just need to tap of the ‘Location’ tab hidden under the ‘Attach’ icon. There they will see the new option of ‘Share Live Location’. Users can share the live location in both individual and group chat.
Users profile photo will appear in the Map whenever they share their live location with any of their contacts.