WhatsApp is about to get a whole lot better

By , Jun 22, 2016

WhatsApp music sharing Macerkopf 001

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has some notable improvements in the pipeline, including support for large emoji characters, all-new public groups, the ability to share locally stored tracks and Apple Music songs with friends and family, deeper Facebook integration, profile codes, stickers and multi-account support, to name a few.

But we’re just getting started.

Prolific WhatsApp leakster @WABetaInfo has shared a bunch of screenshots along with descriptions of these and many other features that are currently being tested with a subset of WhatsApp’s user base. I’ve distilled them in this article for your reading pleasure. Here are some of the more interesting WhatsApp enhancements that we’re looking forward to.

Music sharing via WhatsApp

Currently, you can share pictures, videos, documents, places and contacts via WhatsApp.

If screenshots taken from a WhatsApp beta are an indication, you will soon be able to share music with friends and family on the service. The images seem to confirm that users will be able to share both tracks that have been downloaded to their device as well as Apple Music songs.

WhatsApp music sharing Macerkopf 002

As shown on the screenshots above, shared by Macerkopf.de, the recipient will see a rich preview of any shared song in the chat view along with album artwork, and can tap a red button to listen to the song in a built-in mini player. Apple Music tracks shared via WhatsApp can be played only if the recipient is a subscriber.

UPDATE: I was told by a trusted source that the screenshot depicting Apple Music sharing in WhatsApp might be a fake, or at least something someone could have added to the app using a tweak like WhatsApp++.

For what it’s worth, WhatsApp did add a native Apple Music integration in 2.12.17. The feature was disabled by default and WhatsApp developers completely removed it in version 2.16.3. Of course, there’s nothing stopping the developers from bringing that feature back in a future update.

And speaking or rich previews, when you paste an animated GIF link into the chat the app will automatically extract the GIF, convert it into a video file and play the resulting file in the MP4 format inline.

You’ll even see the “GIF” label on the image thumbnail.

User @mentions, public groups & large emoji

On top of these goodies in tow for the next release of the app, WABetaInfo claims that WhatsApp will gain user @mentions in group chats with autocomplete for user names, all-new public groups like those we’ve appreciated on Viber and a host of other tweaks and refinements.

WhatsApp mentions public Macerkopf 002

As for public groups, the screenshots reveal that anyone should be able to create public groups around their interests, and invite users to join by following the group invite link. The link can be revoked by the group’s administrators at any time to stop others from joining it.

WhatsApp larger emoji Macerkopf 002

As mentioned before, larger emojis have been spotted in the beta.

It’s interesting that iOS 10’s much-improved Messages app also supports three times larger emoji (when sent alone), among a bevy of other new features in the stock Messages app. Of course, WhatsApp is owned by Facebook and we have reasons to believe that Facebook Messenger’s recently consolidated emoji system is in fact headed to WhatsApp.

Tidbits that matter

Other changes planned for a future WhatsApp update, which is currently being tested as we speak, include the following design changes, refinements and new capabilities:

  • Camera icon is removed
  • Redesigned chat bubbles
  • New features within WhatsApp settings
  • Improved built-in help
  • Opt-in for a better Facebook experiences based on your WhatsApp data (don’t worry, your chats and WhatsApp number won’t be shared on Facebook)
  • New options to delete chats:
    • Older than 30 days
    • Older than 6 months
    • All messages, except starred ones
    • All messages, except their documents and media attachments
    • All messages, except starred ones, documents and media files
    • Everything
    • All messages of old group participants
  • Support for quoted messages
  • Internal browser for viewing links (probably based on the new Safari controller) with iCloud Keychain support for viewing password-protected websites and pages
  • The ability to see the list of videos that haven’t been backed up, right in your chat history
  • Scannable profile QR codes via WhatsApp → Settings → Profile → Scan Code
  • Video calling
  • Support for multiple accounts
  • Ability to share any file type
  • Support for showing multiple, scrollable images within a single chat bubble
  • Handoff support
  • Stickers, both Facebook and WhatsApp ones

Now, some of you may already have one or more of these features enabled.

This is normal: WhatsApp has been testing beta code with a small subset of its user base. I’ve discovered that reinstalling WhatsApp in certain cases might enable some of the hidden features being tested.

WhatsApp FAcebook integration Macerkopf 004

It’s important to note that WhatsApp will soon drop support for iOS 6 and iOS 7 devices.

WhatsApp is among first iOS 10-optimized apps to take advantage of Apple’s brand new PhoneKit, which was designed to permit VoIP apps to provide the same call screen experience with full-screen contact images as regular phone calls.

iOS 10 Lock screen WhatsApp Space Gray iPhone screenshot 001

We also know from the WWDC 2016 keynote that WhatsApp will support Siri requests and let you call or message contacts directly from within the stock Contacts app.

Standard caveat applies: these leaks aren’t a guarantee of things to come.

The current WhatsApp build, version 2.16.6, is available for free on the App Store.

Source: WABetaInfo

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    We could write a book with the whatsapp promises

    • ericesque

      Book authoring features seem extreme for a messaging app, but if anyone can do it, it’s whatsapp! 😉

    • Senith Deelaka Ranchagoda

      No Emoji thing and GIF thing actually works

  • Jamessmooth

    I don’t understand why WhatsApp is so popular. Is it for people who want to connect in other countries with people that don’t have iMessage? Who are they targeting? I don’t really get it.

    • John Wickham

      WhatsApp is apparently huge in European markets. I have a couple friends who live in Germany who tell me that WhatsApp is to Germany what iMessage is to the US.

      • Abhijeet Gupta

        Maximum people in india use it as well, Ive friends who have iPhones but they still prefer whatsapp over iMessage and in last 2 years or so, the no. of people using iPhones has grown three folds in india, and still whats app dominates iMessage.

    • CAIO MARIZ®

      in Europe people don’t use iMessage because iOS has 20% of the marketshare, macOS less than 10%,, whastapp here is like an app system, everyone installs it, because it was the first advanced, practical and cross platform instant messaging app, it was born when symbian had the monopoly of the Europe marketshare and when there wasn’t a cloud platform but only sim card to identify the user, that’s why even today whatsapp has no cloud and it’s a sim based app…

      • Jamessmooth

        Wow, solid explanation. Thanks! Seems to make sense.

    • vijaynsingh

      Its cross-plateform.

    • packerrd

      Have you ever thought that not everybody has an iOS device?

    • Elias Chao

      It’s really big in Latin America. Not everybody has an iPhone.

    • aizathisyam

      Whatsapp is more popular as it is a cross platform app…

    • siddique

      IMessage is just papular in US only but whatsapp is internationaly 🙂

      People don’t have iPhones as much as US user have 🙂

      • Jamessmooth

        I guess I need more international friends then! 😀

      • siddique

        i guess the reason behind this is that some Apple IOS features always doesn’t work well outside US,

        for example Map direction is not working in most of countries ..
        even Siri is not that good outside US

        I’m iPhone user since iPhone 4 , I never sent any single message through iMessage . not every person have an iPhone . but every person do have Whatsapp installed

        if iMessage come in android like an app ..then that is other story ..

    • :D

      I actually didn’t even know iMessage was so popular in the US. Here in the UK, hardly anyone uses it. Most people use WhatsApp.

      • Jamessmooth

        How interesting. Most of the people I know and connect with here in the US use iMessage. In fact, I don’t know anyone off the top of my head that uses whatsapp. Funny how these things are so different country to country.

      • siddique

        may be for you FaceTime is famous right? ,,but i think in most countries FaceTime is just a crap..not every person have an iPhone

      • Jamessmooth

        Yes, sort of. I use FaceTime as a tool mostly. At work, when I need to physically show someone something.

    • Noohar

      WhatsApp is huge in African markets as well…

    • hkgsulphate

      Simple. Reliable.
      Plus not everyone has an iDevice

  • It won’t be able to share the songs. The Apple Music API’s really only allow getting the song store id and share that. Those images are most likely fabricated.

  • sNick

    Still no iPad support

    • CAIO MARIZ®

      i’m waiting for 4 years

    • Have you tried WhatsApp Web on your iPad?

      • Senith Deelaka Ranchagoda

        Yeah I t works.. But kinda choppy isn’t it..

  • Riley Freeman

    support for gifs are wayyyyyyyyyyyy overdue. still not a fan of this fake version they are doing but at least finally we can do gifs

    • Senith Deelaka Ranchagoda

      It’s the beta.. Not fake…

      • Riley Freeman

        re-read what i wrote

      • Senith Deelaka Ranchagoda

        I thought you’re talking about the app being fake.. Oh well.. Yeah it is definitely too late..

  • Elias Chao

    There’s going to be a riot if Whastapp drops support for iOS 7. I’ve seen some iPhone 4 still in the wild.

  • Not to be the naysayer.. But I enjoy Whatsapp over telegram and others due to its simplicity of use and functions. Adding more complex features could possibly ruin the true WhatsApp experience.

    I bet soon Facebook would bring in more Facebook-Whatsapp interaction features.

  • Tom García


  • :D

    We need proper GIF support

  • Abhijeet Gupta

    Seems that IDB is obsessed with the word “tidbits”

  • Abhishek

    Gif and video calling is YEAH !!!

  • Senith Deelaka Ranchagoda

    Big Emojis thing works..

  • Senith Deelaka Ranchagoda

    Gif thingy works as well

  • Tim

    I just want a god damn Watch app!

  • Pablo

    Still waiting apple watch support (app)

  • diggitydang

    How about Apple Watch compatibility??? A Reply button or a message other than “You have 2 Whatsapp Messages” might be good.

    Or how about allowing it to be downloaded on an iPad???

    Lastly, a lock screen reply would be nice (although I wonder if this is an Apple control thing). Still would be nice…

    Who’s with me???

  • Ko Wunna

    still no iPad support? better stick with viber.

  • al7oot

    How hard can it be to have an iPad App?