WhatsApp updated with Focus mode support and two other new features

WhatsApp for iPhone now supports Focus mode on iOS 15, as well as contacts’ profile photos in the notification banner and the ability to pause and resume voice recordings.

An illustration with a WhatsApp logo in white set against a green background

WhatsApp Focus mode support is now available on iPhone

iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 brought a new Focus Mode feature, basically DND on steroids which makes it easy to create customized Focus modes for when you’re driving, sleeping, working out, etc. With a Focus active, your iPhone lets apps know when you’re busy.

Now, compatible apps are permitted to break through the user’s Focus mode with time-sensitive notifications. But because WhatsApp hasn’t supported Focus modes up until today, it couldn’t deliver messages when you had a Focus enabled. Now when you set a Focus mode, you can still receive WhatsApp notifications from selected people.

Focus mode support requires iOS 15.0 or later.

WhatsApp notifications now include contact images

This is another feature that has made it through testing. Now the WhatsApp notification banner displays profile images of both senders and recipients alongside the text. Both group and profile photos may be displayed alongside notifications. This feature is automatically turned on for iOS 15 devices. There are no outward-facing switches to adjust how contacts’ profile images are displayed in notifications.

An enhanced voice message recorder

WhatsApp already lets you preview a voice note after it’s recorded, but this new feature makes it so you can pause and resume while recording voice messages. When a voice note is paused, you can choose to resume recording, start over or preview what you’ve recorded so far. You can try it out by swiping up to lock a recording, revealing buttons to pause, resume or delete the voice note.

More features are coming to WhatsApp

WhatsApp is currently testing a bunch of other unreleased features with beta testers. One of the more recent tests, for example, would enable chat wallpapers for voice calls. Another one allows you to contact WhatsApp support via a WhatsApp chat. On top of that, WhatsApp continues to work on direct chat transfer between iOS and Android, a feature that could require the Move to iOS app.