At long last, iOS is allowing app makers to implement text replies in notifications, a feature Apple used to reserve exclusively for its Messages app.
Twitter was the first App Store app to gain this great time-saver of a feature. On iOS 9.1, WhatsApp for iPhone now supports a handy text field for quickly replying to incoming messages without leaving the app you’re currently using.
This feature requires an iPhone with iOS 9.1 or later.
If you don’t see Quick Replies in WhatsApp, consider updating your iPhone to iOS 9.1. As commenters pointed out, Quick Reply has been available in the previous WhatsApp build on iOS 9.1 betas.
How to reply to WhatsApp messages from notifications
To directly respond to a WhatsApp message from its notification, pull down on the notification banner after it shows up briefly at the screen top. This will reveal a hidden text entry field. Now simply type your reply, hit Send and continue right where you left off in another app.
To reply from the Lock screen, just swipe a WhatsApp notification from right to left to reveal the blue Reply button. Tap it to jump to the notification banner where you can type your response. You will need to unlock your iPhone first if it’s protected with a passcode.
In the same vein, swipe to the left over a WhatsApp notification within iOS’s Notification Center to bring up the keyboard, just like that.
WhatsApp requires an iPhone with iOS 6.0 or later and a mobile phone number. The app is localized in English, Arabic, Bokmål, Norwegian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.
Note: This post was updated to reflect the fact that quick-replying from WhatsApp notifications requires iOS 9.1. An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated that it’s a staggered release slowly rolling out to everyone.
Thanks, Sumit and Nail!