WhatsApp’s latest update includes text formatting, view once feature for voice notes, hidden locked chat, passkey, and more.
Meta is constantly improving one of the most popular messaging platforms, WhatsApp, which recently received the passkey, multi-account channels, and redesigned settings across the system. On top of that, WhatsApp recently received the Material You Design guidelines, and now more changes have surfaced online, either in beta or in development.
If you want to try these new settings, you can enrol in the beta for Android via the Google Play Store or on iOS via the Apple App Store for WhatsApp Beta. Some changes still need to be enabled for you on the server side.
WhatsApp New Interface
Recently, WhatsApp has brought minor tweaks in changing colour and icons to the platform, making the platform more modern and visually appealing. Small but consistent changes have arrived on both the Android and iOS platforms.
- Quick Action Bar: It is for businesses, making the response faster with the flow. There are new Quick Response suggestions that appear above the text area. With these new quick actions, you can choose different actions like Quick Reply, Get Product Details, and the ability to create an order. These Quick Action menus were already there, accessible via the Chat attachment menu, further enhancing accessibility by implementing a Quick Action bar.
- New Button Interface: Buttons like Privacy, Profile, and Contacts on the Profile page have a new button interface with subtle outlines around them. However, the buttons are going to appear in the WhatsApp New Interface.
- There is a new Audio and Video Menu, and with the latest update, there is no option for instant video messages. However, this feature can be enabled by default, and users can switch to a different mode from the menu option. This gives users more flexibility with their controllers to manually select and change their preferred mode.
- View Once for Voice Note: Like images, there is an option for View Once for Voice Note. This gives more privacy controls for the Voice Note. View Once Voice Notes cannot be exported, forwarded, saved, or recorded. When recording audio, there is an option to choose View Once, like for images.
- The search also gets enhanced. This includes chat text, status, channel updates, and hidden, locked chat. Even you have the option of the calendar button, which allows users to select the date to filter.
- There is also a new Protect IP address call. This helps protect IP addresses and locations from malicious actors. You can access these features from the Advanced Option appearing within Privacy Settings.
- Business indicators make it easier for users to automatically verify if they are on a secure connection by checking their message, which is still end-to-end encrypted. It does prompt with the indicator when business chats share very limited information with Meta regarding this, but it also makes things more transparent. Business does share the business’s data with Meta; however, Meta commits that they will continue to offer the same level of protection and privacy.
- There is a new option for events in WhatsApp Chat. This makes it easier for group members to organise events and engage with the app.
- Users now can choose how long, from 24 hours to 7 days to 30 days, they want the message to remain pinned to the Chat menu. The pinned message allows users to pin the message on top of conversations.
- WhatsApp Username: You can choose your WhatsApp username within your profile settings, appearing under the Profile menu.
Channel is now available for everyone, but anyone can create a channel from the Updates option in the bottom navigation menu.
- Copy Link: A new option within the Channel Post allows users to copy the channel update link quickly.
- Avatar Status: Users now have the option to reply to a status with their avatar. You have eight different emojis available with the regular reaction feature. There is also an option for an animated emoji of the avatar, which is still under development.
- Communities are now available in WhatsApp Business within the Overflow menu. From that option, you can view all the communities you have joined.
Text Formatting Tool
Until now, you could only make your text bold, italic, underlined, or strikethrough. Nevertheless, now, WhatsApp is expanding the text formatting tool to include code block, quote block, and list functionality.
- For code blocks, use backticks (`) between the words.
- As for the quote block, you can use the greater than symbol (>) before your writing text.
- As for lists, you can use asterisks (*), hyphens (-), or numbers (1) to organise information and create an ordered list.
Hide locked chat
You now have the option for chat lock in chat mode. We have seen WhatsApp focusing on privacy for a while, like introducing Hide Locked Chat. The shortcut for Chat Lock now appears on WhatsApp Chat’s home screen and the profile for Chat options. This not only makes the lock chat more accessible but also enhances the advanced lock chat. You can set the secret code in characters, numerics, emojis, or symbols, according to your preference.
The company did announce the locked chat with the recent update, and now there is an advanced locked chat called Hide Locked Chat. With this, you can hide your locked chat on WhatsApp, which can only be accessed with a secret code. This even works on the companion device, making WhatsApp chat more secure. Currently, users can only lock the chat, but now they can lock and hide the locked chat as well. After setting up the Hide Locked Chat with the secret key, users can type that secret key into the Search bar to unhide the locked chat.
Emoji Panel Issue
WhatsApp did announce Advanced Locked Chats, in which users can set a secret code to access the chat screen. Users need to enter the secret code in the search bar, which permits them to open that specific chat. However, some users have reported issues as they have been encountering problems with the Emoji panel. When they open the Emoji panel, it becomes empty. This is said to be fixed in a future update.
There is no official announcement or any details shared about these yet, but they are likely to be made official in the coming months. However, some improvements have already reached a limited number of users. These updates aim to improve further and have a positive impact. They will enhance the user experience with this tool.
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