WhatsApp today has over 1.5 billion monthly active users on its platform, as per Statista. It is the top messaging platform as it allows you to send messages and communicate over voice around the world. The best part is you can get in touch with your friends and family in a group video or voice chat. WhatsApp keeps on adding new features to Android and iOS in order to improve users’ experience and boost engagement scores.
The company recently added features like Netflix trailer in PiP mode, Dark mode, and the ability to Hide Muted Status among others. The Facebook-owned company added a lot of features this year, which you may not remember. Here’s a list of 10 best WhatsApp features rolled out in 2019 so far.
Best WhatsApp features added in 2019 (so far)
WhatsApp Group invitation system
The messaging platform recently added the group invitation system. This privacy option allows users to control who can add them to groups. The options include “Everyone”, “My Contacts”, and “My Contacts Except”. The second option means the friends you have in your address book can add you to groups. The third one provides additional control for who among your contacts can add you to a group. In those cases, an admin who can’t add you to a group will be prompted to send a private invite through an individual chat.
WhatsApp Audio picker feature
The company introduced this feature with a new UI. The update allowed users to choose and send a total of 30 audio files at once. This feature also supports audio preview and image preview (if album art is available) without affecting the selection process.
Group video/voice call button to Android
The company introduced group calling for its users allowing them to add more users to a call. This year, Android users received a dedicated call button on their WhatsApp group chats. The dedicated call button can be used to make group or voice calls by adding the participants all at once. You just need to tap on the call button, then tap on the names of people you want to participate in call. It is important to note that the total number of users in a group call can’t exceed four.
Fingerprint lock feature
This feature was recently added to the Android app. To enable it on WhatsApp, go to Settings -> Account -> Privacy -> Fingerprint lock. If you enable WhatsApp’s “Fingerprint Lock” feature, then it will ask you to authenticate your fingerprint stored in the OS.
The feature comes with three options to “Automatically lock” the app. The first is “immediately,” the second is “After 1 minute,” and the third is “After 30 minutes.” It should be noted that WhatsApp’s fingerprint lock feature doesn’t block calls, and only hides messages. The feature also allows users to enable or disable message context preview in the notifications.
Frequently forwarded label
Earlier this year, WhatsApp rolled out the frequently forwarded label for both Android and iOS users. You can check this feature by forwarding a message or a file that has been forwarded multiple times before. Then, the messaging app will alert you with “forwarded many times” label. The company says when you forward a message, you can choose to share with up to five chats at one time. “When a message is forwarded from one user to another user more than five times, this is indicated with a double arrow icon. The number of times a message has been forwarded is end-to-end encrypted,” the company said.
Consecutive Voice messages
This feature was first available on the iOS version of WhatsApp. The company later added the ‘Consecutive Voice Messages’ playback feature to its Android app too. It allows a user to play consecutive voice messages automatically, instead of playing a voice message manually. Moreover, one doesn’t have to take any action as the app will notify users with a sound after the first voice message. After the sound, the second voice message will be played automatically. It should be noted that this feature is currently available on the beta version of WhatsApp.
Earlier this year, WhatsApp Groups received an update that added the “Reply Privately” feature. The update allowed the users of a group to reply privately to a chat in their one-on-one chat. You can use this feature by just opening a group chat. You then just need to tap and hold a message in a group chat and select More > Reply Privately. Notably, this feature was first rolled out to Android devices in the year 2018.
Share WhatsApp Status on Facebook or Instagram
To use this feature, open the WhatsApp app and go to your Status. Next, tap on the share button which will show you the apps you can share your status with. Tapping on “Share to Facebook Story” will let you share WhatsApp Status to Facebook Story. The same is also the case with Instagram. This is basically a centralized mode of communicating with various platforms.
An upgraded Picture-in-Picture mode
The feature is currently under testing on WhatsApp beta for Android version 2.19.177. The feature could soon make it to the stable version. The upgraded version of Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode for Android will let you play videos in the background even after switching chats. It will work with videos hosted on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Streamable. Currently, when you leave WhatsApp or switch the chat window, the picture-in-picture video stops working. Besides, beta users on iOS can currently stream Netflix trailers in Picture-in-Picture mode within the WhatsApp app.
Hide muted Status updates
This year WhatsApp also rolled out a beta update for Android users that added the ability to hide muted Status updates. This means people can use this feature to hide Status updates from WhatsApp contacts that you have muted in the past. WhatsApp will likely add the “Hide” button in the “Muted updates” section. Users can use this toggle to quickly hide or show the “Muted updates” section.