WhatsApp for iOS got a small, yet significant update that adds a number of new features designed to enhance the overall experience.
The latest iOS version of WhatsApp now adds camera filters, photo albums, and a new quick reply feature that allows users to respond to messages in a thread. With its new features, WhatsApp now makes it easier to organize photos, customize images, and handle messages.
WhatsApp Photo Albums
Upon sending or receiving multiple photos or videos (more than four) in WhatsApp for iOS, the new app version will automatically bundle them together as an album. If there are multiple images, they will appear with a plus sign that allows users to view all media. Tapping on the album will display all items.
It may seem like a minor feature, but it should go a long way toward decluttering a conversation and making things more organized and easier to find.
With the latest update, WhatsApp users on iOS can also add filters to their photos, videos, or GIFs. Users who take a new photo or video, or simply choose to upload some media stored on their device, will have five filter options: black and white, pop, chrome, cool, and film.
WhatsApp Quick Replies
The new update also introduces a new reply shortcut feature that allows users to quickly reply to messages. To do so, just swipe right on any message in a thread and start typing the reply, which will appear at the bottom of the chat window. This makes things easier, faster, and more convenient, although it's not a major new feature. It should prove particularly valuable in group chats with a lot of messages, where a message or a question might get drowned in other messages before it receives a reply.
Facebook Messenger recently added @mentions as well, aiming to offer a similar solution for quick replies in a group chat, but WhatsApp's version seems better implemented and more specific.
The new features are currently available only for the iOS version of WhatsApp, but Android users should get the same treat in the future. No details are available yet, however, regarding when the Android version of WhatsApp will get the update.
Competition Heating Up
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, although it's got some heavy competition and there's no shortage of messaging apps on the market. The new photo-related features could help the app gain more traction with youngsters, as photos are becoming an increasingly important part of today's conversations. The photo albums could be useful to all users, but the new filters seem particularly targeted at younger users hooked on the trend to spice up their photos and videos.
The latest iOS update brings WhatsApp closer to Instagram. Both WhatsApp and Instagram are under Facebook's umbrella, and both added ephemeral features recently in a bit to take on rival Snapchat.
WhatsApp users on iOS can already try out the new features by downloading the latest version of the app from iTunes. Android users, stay tuned — an update should arrive shortly.