WhatsApp today announced the rollout of a host of highly wanted new features, most of which have been circulating in WhatsApp’s beta versions for a while. The new features include the much wanted dark mode for desktop apps, animated stickers, QR codes to quick-add accounts, and even the ability to long-press on a person’s video tile to expand their area on the screen. Beta features which have not made it to the stable build of WhatsApp so far include the ability to search for messages by date, and the much-talked about multi-account support for WhatsApp.
Dark Mode for Desktop
The rollout of WhatsApp’s dark mode on its Android and iOS apps came close to breaking the internet, and now, WhatsApp is bringing the dark theme to its desktop apps. WhatsApp has stated that the dark theme is coming to “your computer”, which suggests that it will be introduced on both Windows and macOS platforms. However, it is not yet clear if WhatsApp’s dark mode will also apply to its web app, which is popularly used on desktops.
Stickers are highly popular on WhatsApp, especially for the majority share of users who use WhatsApp for personal chats. Now, alongside static sticker packs, WhatsApp is rolling out new, animated stickers on all of its apps. With animated stickers, WhatsApp is making its platform even more expressive for those who prefer using stickers to communicate.
QR codes for contacts
When QR codes had first appeared on WhatsApp beta, reports had suggested that this feature may lay the foundation for multi-account support of WhatsApp. Now, QR codes have made it to the stable build, and can be used by users for quickly adding a person directly to WhatsApp, without needing to first key in their numbers, saving it on their phones and then accessing WhatsApp to chat with them. This can be particularly useful for WhatsApp in cases such as making payments via WhatsApp – a feature that is yet to roll out widely on WhatsApp in India.
Focus on video tabs
While WhatsApp has already introduced expanded support for video calls by allowing up to eight people to talk simultaneously on video, the new feature will allow users to long press on a participant’s video tile to bring them into focus. This can be particularly useful for private talks, where the host of a WhatsApp video call can be easily brought to focus by participants.
WhatsApp has also stated that users of its app on KaiOS, which powers the JioPhone devices, will also be able to add disappearing image status updates. WhatsApp has clarified that the new features will be rolled out to all of its users in the coming days and weeks. As a result, it is likely that for some users, it may take a while to receive the new features as an update.