WhatsApp seems to have a number of new features in the works that would reach its users in the coming future. One of those new features is an upgraded Search functionality that would allow users to search messages of a particular date. The instant messaging app is also said to be working on a redesigned Storage Usage section with the options to let you view large and forwarded files. Similarly, it has been reported that WhatsApp would bring an option to let users delete all messages except the starred ones. Users would also get a ShareChat video integration, new messaging bubbles for the dark mode, and the ability to search images on the Web through the iPhone client.
New feature to allow searching by date
As per a report by WhatsApp features tracker WABetaInfo, WhatsApp has the new Search by date feature in development that would allow users to search a message of a particular date. This means that you would be able to filter out results of other dates.
A couple of screenshots provided by WABetaInfo show that a Calendar icon would be available just above the keyboard when using the Chat Search option on the WhatsApp for iPhone to let you search for a message of a specific date. By tapping the calendar icon, the date picker would appear to select any month, date, and year. Android users are also likely to receive the new feature through the Search option in the chat window.
The new feature seems to be designed for in-chat searches and not for the universal search option that you can access by pulling down the chats list. Also, it isn’t a part of any recent beta versions and is currently said to be in alpha stage.
Redesigned Storage Usage section
In addition to the search by date feature, WABetaInfo reports that WhatsApp has the redesigned Storage Usage section in development that would come with a Large files option to let you view files that are of large size. There would also be a Forwarded files option in the Storage Usage section to help you filter all the files that you’ve forwarded on the messaging app. All this is likely to ease WhatsApp’s storage cleaning.
Another change that seems to be in plans is a new Sort option that would be provided if you view all photos shared by a particular contact in the Storage Usage section. This new option will apparently provide ways to sort photos in Newest, Oldest, and Size orders to let you easily pick which photos you want to keep or delete.
The redesigned Storage Usage section seems to be in a testing phase for Android devices. Nevertheless, WhatsApp is likely to offer a similar experience for iPhone users as well.
Option to keep starred content
WhatsApp is also working on an upgraded Delete messages option that would let you delete all messages except the starred ones, reports WABetaInfo. A screenshot of a WhatsApp for iPhone version suggests that a Delete all except starred option would be available alongside the existing Delete all messages functionality. Similarly, the Storage Usage section would include a Clear except starred option to let you keep all the starred message content while deleting documents, photos, videos, and voice messages all at once.
The references provided by WABetaInfo show the new experience on iPhone, though Android users would also get a similar treatment.
According to a separate report by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp seems to have a dedicated player for ShareChat videos. This would work just like how you can seamlessly play videos from Instagram or YouTube on the messaging app. One of the screenshots shared in the report shows that there would also be a Picture-in-Picture (PiP) option for videos shared on WhatsApp from ShareChat.
WhatsApp notably added Picture-in-Picture support for its iPhone users in January 2018, while all its Android users got a similar experience a few months later. The app also brought PiP support for Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube videos in January last year. Moreover, the new ShareChat integration is said to be under development for both Android and iPhone users.
Search image on the Web for iPhone users
WhatsApp is also seen to bring its search image on the Web feature to iPhone users. The company has been testing its search image feature for Android users for quite some time, with initial references emerging in March last year. The feature would let you search for images on the Web that you’ve received in any of your WhatsApp chat. It is likely to help curb fake news circulation on the messaging app.
WABetaInfo reports that the existing forward button will be replaced with the search on the Web (lens) button for the images that have been frequently forwarded on the platform. This new button would let iPhone users upload the image shared with them directly on Google to find whether it’s genuine or something designed to spread misinformation.
New message bubble colour in dark mode
The last major feature that WhatsApp seems to have in development is the new colour for message bubbles when switching to the dark mode. A screenshot shared by WABetaInfo shows that there would be a subtle change that would help reduce eye strain for users accessing WhatsApp in a low-light environment.
It is important to note that all the new features mentioned above are so far in the testing stage and may receive some changes before reaching the public releases of WhatsApp. Gadgets 360 wasn’t able to independently verify any of the screenshots shared by WABetaInfo. However, considering the record of the tracker, all of these will likely make their way to WhatsApp over the coming months.
In 2020, will WhatsApp get the killer feature that every Indian is waiting for? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.