WhatsApp may be testing a way to bring back the direct camera shortcut in its latest WhatsApp for Android beta versions 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199. The camera shortcut was a ubiquitous presence in the shortcut menu of WhatsApp chat attachments, and was removed subsequently in previous versions. Now, on June 26, WABetaInfo reported that the camera shortcut was brought back to the application in the Android version of WhatsApp beta, which would have allowed users to directly access the camera from the slide-out attachment menu. Unfortunately, the same appears to have been removed in a following beta update, 188.8.131.52, dated yesterday, June 27.
At the moment, tapping on the attachment clip beside the chat window opens up a menu, from where users can add documents, upload photos from gallery, make payments (via UPI, for eligible users/regions), attach pre-recorded audio clips, share contacts as well as live location. The camera shortcut appeared to have been removed after WhatsApp integrated its parent company Facebook’s latest video conferencing service, Messenger Rooms, into the attachments menu. The intermittent reappearance of the camera feature may suggest that WhatsApp may not have completely gotten rid of a direct camera shortcut already, but is working on how best to integrate the new features into one attachments pane.
WhatsApp’s beta software is typically a great indication of features expected in the stable version of the app in the coming days. This year, WhatsApp’s big new feature is expected to be support for running one WhatsApp account on multiple devices, particularly phones. WhatsApp may also be soon adding the ability to search for messages by date, which can be a very useful feature for those who use the service at workplaces. Among ancillary features, while WhatsApp beta for Android appears to have removed the camera shortcut yet again, it will be interesting to see what strategy does WhatsApp adopt in the long run. At the time of writing, WhatsApp for Android in India has neither the camera option, and nor the option for video conferencing via Messenger Rooms.