5 new WhatsApp features: Hands-free video, drag and drop and more

You can now create a WhatsApp avatar, enhance your Last Seen privacy, record video hands-free, use drag and drop on iPhone, and more.

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

The Meta-owned app has been testing new capabilities in the past weeks and months, and many of those tests appear to have graduated to full-fledged features.

Some new features, like more granular Last Seen and Online controls, have been available to a subset of users for some time, but the update makes them accessible to all users. Others, like drag and drop support on iPhone, have never appeared in public beta tests. Here’s what’s new in WhatsApp for iOS v23.2.75.

Other new features that are currently being tested could arrive soon. Among them are audio transcriptions and the ability to schedule calls within group chats.

1. Personalized avatar as your profile photo

Meta has been testing WhatsApp avatars since October 2022. Following avatars on Instagram and Facebook, the update lets everyone create and use these Memoji-style representations of themselves and use as stickers and profile photos. To get started, venture into WhatsApp Settings → Avatar. For further information on creating and using avatars, visit the WhatsApp Help Center.

2. Hands-free video

WhatsApp used to require you to press and hold the shutter button to keep recording video using the in-app camera.

Well, now there’s a more straightforward way to shoot video without holding the button pressed all the time. Firstly, hit the camera icon in the text entry field like you usually would. Once inside the WhatsApp camera, swipe left to record video hands-free. We couldn’t get this feature to work as it’s probably been released in stages.

3. More granular Last Seen and Online controls

This feature has been rolling in stages for almost a year now. With it, you can control who can see when you’re online more granularly than before. Previously, you could set your Last Seen status for everyone who messages you on WhatsApp, just those saved as your contacts or nobody.

The update lets you limit who can see when you last opened WhatsApp to specific contacts only (My Contacts Except…). Separately, you can set your Online privacy to Everyone or Same as Last Seen. You can access these new options in Settings → Privacy → Last seen & Online.

4. Drag and drop

The updated software now enables you to use the drag and drop feature in iOS to share stuff like images, videos and documents from Safari, Photos, Files and other apps to WhatsApp chats. We have a tutorial explaining how to drag and drop items between apps on your iPhone. Some folks have enjoyed drag and drop support since the start of 2023, but now all WhatsApp users should have this handy feature.

5. Undo the Delete For Me action

Before the update, you couldn’t undo deleting a message for you. But now, you can undo the Delete For Me action if you accidentally chose it instead of Delete For All.

One crucial thing to remember is that you only have five seconds to recall any message you mistakenly deleted for yourself instead of everyone. This feature began rolling out in December 2022 and should now be more widely available.

How to immediately get the new features

The Automatic Updates feature in iOS ensures that apps installed on your device are up to date by automatically downloading any available app updates from the App Store. The thing is, automatic updates are spread out over several days or weeks.

To avoid waiting, you’re free to manually update your copy of WhatsApp to the latest available version. Simply open the WhatsApp page on the App Store on your iPhone and touch the Update button. With the newest version successfully installed, you’re wholeheartedly recommended to revisit this article and try everything new.

Recent new features on WhatsApp

WhatsApp’s been rolling out several improvements designed to popularize its Status feature, such as voice statuses, status reactions, link previews and more. WhatsApp also launched the ability to message yourself in the app and is still testing a Catalyst-powered native app on macOS that should replace the current Electron app.

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