WhatsApp tests multi-device access, searching by date, better storage usage tools, ShareChat video service, and much more
Even though WhatsApp has received several new features over the last couple of months, the instant messenger still isn’t as feature-rich as some of the other popular messengers out there. It lacks quite a few useful features, like the ability to use the messenger on multiple devices at the same time. Granted that you can use WhatsApp on your smartphone and desktop simultaneously, but you’re limited to just those two devices with no option to add a third or a fourth device. Earlier this year in March, we learned that WhatsApp was preparing to add multi-device support to the app. The messenger has now started testing the feature, and it might soon be released on the beta channel.
Yes, it’s the ability to use your WhatsApp account from 4 devices at the same time.
Under development, but it’s great!
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) June 12, 2020
According to a recent tweet from WABetaInfo, the feature will allow users to connect their WhatsApp account to up to 4 devices at the same time. The feature is currently under development and we don’t have any information regarding its release timeline. Along with the multi-device support, WhatsApp is also testing a few other useful additions, like a search by date feature, new tools for Storage Usage, a Clear except starred option, ShareChat support, and a Search image on the web feature.
For the Search by date feature, WhatsApp will add a new Calendar icon to the in-chat search mode. Tapping on the icon will bring up a calendar where you’ll be able to choose the exact date to filter your messages. The feature is currently in the alpha stage of development and might undergo further changes before it’s released on the beta channel. It’s worth noting that the feature may be rolled out for iOS users before it’s available on WhatsApp for Android.
The new Storage Usage tools, however, will make their way to the Android version of the app and will let you manage WhatsApp’s storage use more efficiently. The messenger will completely redesign the current Storage Usage section on the app and add a few new filters to find large files and forwarded files easily. Additionally, WhatsApp will also add a new Sort button to help you sort photos shared in a chat. The Sort button will include three options to sort images by — Newest, Oldest, and Size.
The aforementioned Clear except starred option for Storage Usage is being tested in the iOS version of the app and it will do exactly what its name suggests. In the current version of WhatsApp, you already get an option within chats to clear all messages except the ones that you’ve starred. However, if you clear messages or files from the Storage Usage section, the app deletes starred messages as well. With the new feature, you’ll be able to clear messages and files from the Storage Usage section without worrying about losing your starred messages.
For Indian users, WhatsApp is testing ShareChat integration which will add a dedicated media player for videos hosted on ShareChat. For the unaware, ShareChat is a popular Indian social network that boasts of over 60 million monthly active users. The platform hosts short videos in vernacular languages that are often shared on WhatsApp. With ShareChat integration, WhatsApp users will be able to view videos hosted on the platform without being redirected to a browser window. Much like YouTube videos, ShareChat videos will be played in Picture-in-Picture mode on the messenger.
Earlier this year in March, WhatsApp added a new search message on the web option in WhatsApp beta for iOS version 188.8.131.52. Now, the company has started testing a search image on the web feature for iOS users. Much like the previously released feature, the new search image on the web option will replace the forward button on a frequently forwarded image with a Search button. Tapping on the button will upload the image to Google and conduct a reverse image search, allowing users to get more information about the forwarded image. The feature is also in development on the Android version of the app.
All of the aforementioned features are not available to the public on the beta version of WhatsApp. However, we expect the company to roll them out in a future beta release. It’s also worth noting that since the features are currently in development, WhatsApp may make some significant changes before they’re released on the beta channel.