Popular messaging platform WhatsApp has several new features rolling out or under development with plans to launch in 2023.
Before release to the public, the Meta-owned company typically trials its updates via beta testers – all of which are picked up by the keen eyes at WABetaInfo.
The group has a large community of testers who test the app in its beta form and tell people what to expect in future updates. Moreover, WABetaInfo regularly provides news regarding official updates to the popular messenger.
These are some of the features announced since the start of the new year – with some already rolling out.
A new update through the Google Play Beta Program is testing out data transfers for Android users.
WhatsApp is working on the process to move the chat history to a new Android device, for a future update of the app. The feature will allow users to switch to a new Android device without having to back up their chat history on Google Drive.
The platform is also working on a way to transfer chats from Android to iOS.
According to WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is introducing a new feature that will allow users to access the service through a proxy server.
Using this feature will allow users to connect to WhatsApp when it is access is blocked – for example through government censorship. The feature comes as a direct result of recent events in Iran where privacy and access rights were removed by the government.
The feature is currently being rolled out. To connect to a proxy server through WhatsApp, go to Settings > Storage and Data > Proxy: if the proxy has not been blocked, a green checkmark will appear, indicating that you can now use WhatsApp through the proxy.
Messages and calls are still end-to-end encrypted.
A much-requested feature for WhatsApp is also currently under development – bookmarking and keeping messages.
With the advent of disappearing messages, the kept message system being developed will allow users to bookmark or keep certain messages in groups where disappearing messages are activated.
These messages can also be ‘un-kept’, after which they will disappear forever.
“It is worth noting that all participants in the conversation can delete these messages at any time,” WEBetaInfo said.
WhatsApp is also continuing its work on the desktop version of the app, bringing in some quality-of-life features.
Revealed at the end of 2022, WhatsApp is working on a new feature to allow users to select multiple chats at once on the desktop app, making it easier to mute or mark them as read or unread.
This feature is still in development and will be released in a future update.
Undo ‘delete for me’
After giving users more time to delete content from chats, WhatsApp is now working on the ability to undo deleted, though this is currently being restricted to the ‘delete for me’ option in chats.
This should help users who have accidentally deleted something from their chat windows.
After deleting a message, image or video, the “message deleted” notification will have an ‘undo’ button to reverse the deletion.
The feature is currently rolling out.
Reporting status updates
After releasing a feature that makes viewing status updates right within the chat list possible, WhatsApp is now working on another feature to help the moderation team keep the platform safe for all users: the ability to report a status update.
Users are already able to report contacts and messages that violate the group’s terms of service, but this isn’t currently available for violations hidden in status updates.
The feature to report these is currently under development, according to WABetaInfo and will roll out at later date.