WhatsApp is mainly known as a free alternative to built-in smartphone calls. It does not require a provider and allows a free international connection. It’s one of the most used VoIP and messaging applications out there, known for its security and simplicity. With end-to-end encryption, free online calling functionality, and cross-platform support, WhatsApp holds a leading position in communication.

 

However, WhatsApp can be much more than just a calling app. In 2019, the software became much more universal, offering rare functionality, unavailable in similar solutions. The majority of the features bring considerable messaging improvements. Let’s take a look at how WhatsApp has evolved over the course of the year and what’s more to come.

Privacy: Fingerprint Authentification

In the iOS edition, users already had a chance to enable locks, based on face analysis or fingerprint scanning. Android version, however, was falling a little behind - but it looks like we are getting extended privacy on Android devices as well.

 

The UI is quite simple - you just need to press the scan button and hold the finger. WhatsApp will start scanning the fingerprint and remember a specific pattern. Now, if your device falls to the hands of another person, accessing your WhatsApp conversations will be impossible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On iPhones, the feature can be activated via WhatsApp’s settings. Firstly, go to the ‘Account’ menu, then choose ‘Privacy’ section. Here you’ll see a screen lock feature, where advanced authentication can be turned on and edited. Once the mode is enabled, the feature can be used immediately.

Anti Fake-news: Checking forwarded messages

As you know, WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook a while ago. Last year, after the scandal on Cambridge Analytica, Facebook has announced on multiple occasions that in 2019, they will pay a lot of attention to deleting fake news from their platforms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WhatsApp also joined an anti-misinformation club, and the first innovation in this vector is the possibility to check how many time a message was forwarded. Now, using a Forwarding Info tab, users will be able to see how many people have read the forwarded message and with whom it has been shared. To find out how many times a message was re-sent, you can simply forward it again and see the forward count in Message Info.

 

Frequently Forwarded feature will notify you about spam-forwarded messages. If a text was re-sent more than four times, you will see the ‘Frequently Forwarded’ label instead of a typical ‘Forwarded’ sign. This small update is actually very useful: if the message has been spread a lot, it can be spam or fake news attempt.

 

Voice Messaging - Consecutive Voice Messages

 

In the new Android 2.19.86 edition, WhatsApp has introduced Consecutive Voice Messages. If you received several voice messages, it’s enough to tap on one of them - the following ones will be played automatically.

Voice messages in WhatsApp are far from being perfect yet. The recording can stop if someone called or if you stopped pressing the button. At the end of the day, you need 2-3 messages to carry out a complete thought. Now, with enabled consecutive voice messaging, these cuts will be unnoticeable and the voice communication will finally be seamless and pleasant.

 

Media sharing: Improved Picture-in-Picture Mode

 

Remember how if you wanted to watch a video, you had to leave the WhatsApp conversation? When the video ended, you had to open the app again, find the dialog again. Each time you want to rewatch the video, the hustle repeats.

 

Well, now that system is in the past. Picture-in-Picture mode allows you to watch a video directly from WhatsApp with a built-in video player. Now developers enabled a preview feature that allows seeing all media content with just one tap. Once you are done, you can quickly come back to the conversation.

Of course, no feature can be perfect - and this one is not an exception. So far, the Preview Mode does not allow forwarding or rewinding in a small-screen mode. You need to open the video full-screen - this way you’ll be able to get around it better.

 

Pay attention to what you tap on. If you click on the preview, the picture-in-picture mode will be automatically activated. If, on the other hand, you select the link, the app will redirect you to Youtube (or other video hosting platform) and you’ll leave WhatsApp and the conversation.

 

Interface: Dark Theme

 

If you are an active night texter, this feature will be your favorite. Now WhatsApp has finally enabled the dark mode that makes night reading easier and preserves your eyesight.

Black and dark grey colors make the text much more readable. The dark interface does not seem quite as bright, and the interface doesn’t distract users from the content of the message itself.

 

However, users are not yet able to use a dark mode in conversations. So far, we can only test a glimpse of the dark mode in a settings menu - but it’s already looking promising. Nevertheless, one thing is sure: if developers have already chosen to work in this direction, they are likely to finish the job. In future releases, we may very well see a full dark mode.

 

Business Management: WhatsApp business application

 

WhatsApp has recently announced its application, dedicated to small and medium companies. The application helps companies with customers and team members. The application is so far oriented mainly on businesses in Germany, Brazil, US, Mexico, India, and the UK. 

The main features include:

  • Business Page: official information about the company with a description, picture, location, contacts, founders;
  • Automated Messaging: the application sorts through inquiries from customers and helps managing team communication;
  • Automating responses to frequently asked questions allows faster lead generation;
  • Customized web version: communicate with customers from your desktop and integrate the tool to your business management software. Soon, developers might add direct integration with a website, redirecting all customer inquiries to your WhatsApp business profile.

 

A great idea for those who want to maintain a work-life balance. Now you can finally separate your work account and talk to your friends and family without being disturbed by work issues.

 

Conclusions

  • In 2019, WhatsApp has announced promising new releases with unique features that target each important area of messaging.
  • The software is now suitable for business communication, with additional functionality for customer support and team management;
  • WhatsApp keeps walking the extra mile in terms of security by adding Fingerprint and FaceIDs this time on Android version as well;
  • The dark theme makes the tool adapted to communication at night;
  • Seamless voice messaging saves a lot of time.

 

In 2019, WhatsApp has been actively directing towards automating and seamless user experience. Now you can accomplish more with fewer actions since features are becoming smarter and more elaborate

Published by john paret