WhatsApp is rolling out a beta update today that adds a multitude of features to customize your messaging experience. The beta channel has a few nifty things up its sleeve, the most notable of which is the addition of a Quick Reply feature for the notifications area. Other changes include multiple selection capabilities for contacts and chats and new solid color background options.
This new features is only available in the 2.12.560 version of the app, which is presently available for the beta testers who have signed up on the Google Play Store.
The new Quick reply feature presents a ‘Reply’ button when a notification is expanded. You can tap on this button to allow an overlay window to pop up containing the conversation and the typing bar. In case you want to enter the app from here, you can just push the ‘View’ button. You’ve got a voice reply button (which changes to a send arrow if you enter text), emoji shortcut, Close and View buttons. View opens up WhatsApp proper where you can attach photos and files and so on because these are not supported in the Quick Reply window.
Today’s update also lets you bold, strikethrough, or italicize text should you want to make your messages a little more snazzy. It works like the stylization tools previously available on WhatsApp’s Web client, just now ported over to the mobile versions.
- For bold: Add asterisks (*) before and after, i.e. *sample*
- For italic: Add underscores (_) before and after, i.e. _sample_
strikethrough: Add tildes (~) before and after, i.e. ~sample~
You’ll also now be able to select a group chat thread or multiple contacts and hold for more options, such as muting, archiving, marking as unread, or leaving the group. Lastly, there are more custom wallpaper options added with this update, such as solid colors if you prefer something minimal.
You’ll now find popular options listed at the top of the app with others relegated to the overflow menu. If you mix and match your selections (for example, you select individual chats and group chats), the available options will only be those actions that relate to all selected chat types, like archive and mute. Here’s what you get, with overflow items in parentheses:
- One individual chat: archive, delete, mute (add chat shortcut, view contact, mark as unread)
- More than one individual chat: archive, delete, mute (mark as unread)
- One group chat: archive, leave group, mute (add chat shortcut, group info, mark as unread)
- More than one group chat: archive, leave group, mute (mark as unread)
- Mixed individual and group chats: archive, mute (mark as unread)
Android update is live now only for beta testers. If you aren’t one and wish to join the program, you can do so by hitting this link.
This month, Whatsapp launched document sharing on its platform. This will only be restricted to PDFs and is coming only to the iOS and Android version.