Back in the middle of 2020 we published an article in which we highlighted all the news that we missed in WhatsApp. Now we are just over a month away from the end of 2021 and it’s time to look back to see what news have come to the application and, incidentally, what are still pending subjects.
And is that WhatsApp, despite being an app that many users use (and we use) on a day-to-day basis, it is also an app that is difficult to keep track of. It is updated often, it receives features in beta and stable, and in the end, it is difficult to know what has changed. To make it easier, here is a compilation with all the main novelties that WhatsApp has added in 2021.
WhatsApp news in 2021
We will start by reviewing all the main novelties that have reached WhatsApp throughout this year. Then we will go to all those that are yet to come, according to the leaks.
Play voice memos faster
One of the great novelties that have come to WhatsApp this year has been the possibility of play voice memos faster. For some versions it is possible play them in x1, x1,5 and x2. Ideal for these audio notes that cross the fine line between a voice memo from a podcast.
New voice recorder
Speaking of voice notes, too the recorder has been renewed so that, among other things, we can listen to the voice note before sending it. Thanks to this, we can forget about tricks and listen to what we have said to decide whether to send the message or re-record it. It is a minor update, but no less interesting for that.
Self-destructing photos and videos
For some time, WhatsApp has allowed send photos and videos that recipients can only view once. View the photo or video, the message self-destructs and makes the content unreviewable (at least officially). Unfortunately this feature is not supported to avoid screenshots.
In the same vein as the previous section, and in the same way that it is possible to send photos and videos that self-destruct, WhatsApp has also been updated to allow sending temporary messages. These basically disappear automatically of chats after a certain time.
Archived chats that no longer bother
One of the big problems that archived WhatsApp chats had was that if someone spoke in one of them, the conversation reappeared on the main screen of the app. Well, that is over, since for some versions archived chats remain archived forever, whoever speaks. Ideal for those groups in which we are committed and that (perhaps) interest us little.
WhatsApp multi-device (half)
One of the latest news that has reached all WhatsApp users is multi-device support. For a few weeks it has been possible to use WhatsApp in up to four devices without having to have the mobile always connected / on. Support is still in beta, but is now available to everyone. The problem is that, unfortunately, WhatsApp continues to limit the use to a single mobile.
Calls and video calls on desktop
And now that we talk about multi-device WhatsApp, it should be noted that WhatsApp Desktop It has also allowed us to make calls and video calls with our contacts for some time. In fact, they can be done without having the mobile connected thanks to the multi-device support. Not so bad.
Join group calls more easily
We continue with the video calls, and this year WhatsApp has been updated to let us join a call or video call in progress. If we have left for any reason or simply got lost and the video call started without us, now we can join with the press of a button.
Migrate chats from iOS to Android
It was, without a doubt, one of the great drawbacks of WhatsApp: going from an iPhone to an Android mobile was synonymous with losing chats. However, this year a function has been deployed that allows us to take conversations and multimedia content with us to switch between iOS and Android. At the moment it is limited to a few mobiles and, natively, to Android 12, but we can hope that little by little it will be easier to migrate our conversations between operating systems.
End-to-end encrypted backups
Until recently, the backups that we uploaded to iCloud or Google Drive (depending on whether we are talking about iOS or Android) were not encrypted. However, this year WhatsApp has been updated so that the backups are end-to-end encrypted, so that no one except us can access them. A small but interesting security enhancement.
Choose the quality with which we send files
When it comes to files, 2021 has been the year chosen by WhatsApp to allow us choose in what quality the files are sent. In short, WhatsApp allows us to decide if we want to send a photo or video with Best Quality (and consume more data) or in lower quality (and consume less data). Compression is still being applied, but it is progress.
What is to come
Now that we know everything that has come to the app throughout this year, we are going to review the main functions that, according to the leaks, WhatsApp is working on:
- Reactions: In true Slack style, it is expected that it will soon be possible to react to messages with emojis. Very interesting to give quick answers without having to write.
- Hide the last connection to certain contactsInstead of hiding the connection from everyone, WhatsApp is working on allowing us to do it to certain contacts in particular.
- Voice memo transcription: Has it ever happened to you that they send you a voice note when you can’t hear it? Well, it has been leaked that WhatsApp is working on a function to automatically pass voice to text. Hopefully it will arrive soon.
- Emojis or stickers in group photos– Recently, the beta version of WhatsApp was updated to allow let’s put emojis or stickers as a group photo. Hopefully it will get to the stable version sooner rather than later.
- Integration with Novi: Faceb … Meta has a digital wallet for mobile payments with a cryptocurrency (one dollar Pax or USDP equals 1 dollar USD) that allows payments between individuals. This function is available with a waiting list in Guatemala and the United States and it is expected that be integrated into WhatsApp at some point, although it may take a long time to arrive.
- Global Audio Notes Player: One of the most recent leaked news is the global audio note player. Similar to that of Telegram, it will allow you to continue listening to voice notes even if we leave the chat in which they have been sent.
- Communities: In recent days it has come to light that WhatsApp works in “communities”, a kind of groups within groups similar to what we see in apps like Discord. There is not much information about it, but it looks interesting.
- Announcements: We have been hearing for a long time that WhatsApp is going to have ads. Back in 2019 it was said that they would arrive in 2020 and here we are, at the gates of 2022 and without announcements. However, it is known that Meta is investigating how to implement them and that there are plans to monetize the app, but time to time.