Five changes coming to WhatsApp — including a voice note update

WhatsApp is making several significant changes to its platform, including voice note waveforms for its Windows desktop app.

Other changes include kept messages, quick reactions for statuses on iOS, and a footer for end-to-end encryption and rich link previews for status updates on Android.

WhatsApp added support for voice notes to its Windows Beta in June 2022, but it didn’t initially include waveforms — the representation of how sound waves vary over time.

The feature has been available on Android, iOS, and the Electron version of its desktop app for some time, but WhatsApp is now adding it to its latest beta update for the app.

As the feature has only been added recently, older voice notes on the app could still show empty waveforms.

WABetaInfo specified that empty waveforms in the latest beta aren’t necessarily a bug but rather an incompatibility issue.

WhatsApp is also working on a “kept messages” feature to help users save specific disappearing messages, according to a WABetaInfo report.

A kept message is essentially a disappearing message that is temporarily converted to a standard message to prevent it from expiring.

WhatsApp users can set their messages to expire after a certain period and cannot be starred. However, the new feature will enable users to save specific messages.

Group admins can limit kept messages in a chat, and participants can view saved chats in a new section of the chat info page called “Kept messages”.

There is no indication of when the kept messages feature will roll out to beta users.

Quick reactions will let users respond to WhatsApp statuses by selecting an emoji — similarly to how message reactions work.

WABetaInfo discovered the feature in the latest beta for iOS, and it will likely be made available in an upcoming app version.

The eight available emoji responses include a smiling face with hearts for eyes, tears of joy,  a face with an open mouth, crying, folded hands, clapping hands, a party popper, and the 100 emoji.

The reaction is immediately sent to the creator of the status.

WhatsApp is rolling out two new features to its Android app — a footer to advertise that WhatsApp messages are always end-to-end encrypted, and rich link previews.

WABetaInfo reported that the end-to-end encryption footer will be added to different sections of the app to remind users that their chats, calls, and status updates, are always secured.

It will be included in the Android app’s chat list, calls, devices list, and status updates sections.

Tapping the footer opens a new security page detailing the WhatsApp features that are end-to-end encrypted.

These include text and voice messages, audio and video calls, photos, videos, and documents.

WABetaInfo also reported that WhatsApp has redesigned the user interface of its status updates feature to include updated link previews.

The new previews will show similar details to those already shown when a link is shared via a status update.

However, older link previews showed the URL as the centrepiece of the status update, while the preview was pushed to the bottom of the page.

Rich link previews will show website details as the main feature of a status link, with the URL provided in smaller text below.

The feature started rolling out to some beta testers on Thursday, 28 July 2022, but WABetaInfo specified that it could be a while before it is rolled out to more users.

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Five changes coming to WhatsApp — including a voice note update