This year WhatsApp has introduced a slew of new features enabling users to do more than just chat on the app. WhatsApp also had the most dramatic changes this year, which drew in a lot of praises as well as criticism. But the most popular messaging app still stands strong with over 1 billion active users globally. Here’s a look at the most interesting features WhatsApp rolled out this year. The features vary for different mobileOS including iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Also Read - WhatsApp working on a feature to quickly transfer chats from iOS to AndroidAlso Read - WhatsApp will make archived chats stay where they belong, even if there's a new message
To start with, this was the biggest WhatsApp feature rolled out this year and is heavily inspired from Snapchat. Like Snapchat, the new WhatsApp Status allows you to post photos, videos and GIFs along with emojis and stickers. A new dedicated Status tab was created for this feature where your contacts can view it for a duration of 24 hours. This feature is available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
New fonts, emoji prediction
To make texting more efficient, WhatsApp made it easier to change font style, and introduced emoji prediction. As opposed to applying certain symbols earlier, you can now simply select the text and choose to change the font to bold, italics, strikethrough, or monospace. A feature which was already on iOS, WhatsApp rolled out emoji prediction for Android users. Any word typed that has a relevant emoji now shows up on the text bar. RELATED: WhatsApp makes it easier to change font style, find emojis
WhatsApp Night Mode
WhatsApp quietly integrated night mode on its in-app camera. When you use WhatsApp’s camera, the night mode icon will be visible on top whenever there is a low-light background. The night mode feature works quite effectively making the image brighter. This feature is available only on iOS as of now. RELATED: WhatsApp adds Night Mode feature to in-app camera for iOS
Any type of file sharing
WhatsApp allows users to share content like photos, videos, GIFs, word documents and PDF files. However, in a major update, WhatsApp allowed users to share any type of file on the messaging app. This feature however came with a size limit of 100MB for Android, and 128MB for iOS. Previously, WhatsApp also increased image sharing limit from 10 to 30, and stopped compressing photos keeping the original resolution.
Image filters, photo albums, and quick reply
WhatsApp made some interesting updates to its image sharing feature. Firstly, it introduced filters for photos. A very convenient feature was photo albums that eliminated the trail of multiple images received on the app. Images sent in bulk are now grouped together in an album. Lastly, it introduced Quick Reply for any message on WhatsApp. Photo albums and Quick Reply features are available on both iOS and Android. Photo filters are exclusive to iOS. ALSO READ: WhatsApp iOS update adds filters, albums, quick reply shortcut; here s how they work
For Android and iOS users, WhatsApp introduced the ability to pin important chats to the top. You can simply tap and hold a chat and tap the pin icon at the top visible on the top of the screen on Android. iOS users can simply swipe right and select the pin and unpin option accordingly.
Picture-in-Picture mode, colorful text status
Later in the year, WhatsApp rolled out picture-in-picture mode for Android and iOS users. What this feature essentially does is allow you to minimize your video calls while using the app in the background. For Android users, this feature is available only for smartphones running on Android 8.0 Oreo. An update to the new WhatsApp Status, a new feature allowed users to post text with a colorful backdrop. RELATED: WhatsApp rolls out picture-in-picture video calling feature for all; now allows colorful text updates
The latest feature arriving on WhatsApp for iOS and Android is Live Location sharing. Rumored for quite some time, this feature essentially allows you to share your location in real-time with friends and family. WhatsApp will give you the option to choose the duration of how long one can track your location. You can also stop sharing in between by tapping on the respective icon. Live Location works on individual and group chats, and will be rolled out in a few weeks. RELATED: WhatsApp introduces Live Location sharing for iOS, Android apps