WhatsApp development is back in full swing, and although we have yet to see any VOIP calling, new features are still being advanced. The latest private beta went out last night, bringing the version number up to 2.12.20 versus the public release, which is sitting at 2.11.688.

This version of WhatsApp beta is the first to add some significant new features in some time.

WhatsApp 2.12.20 (Private Beta)

  • Send MP3 file to sender
  • Read receipt toggle

So the good news is you can now send an MP3 to someone. The feature lets you access local storage on your phone or OneDrive to retrieve the song.

The bad news is once sent, it just loads the tune into the default media player, but it does not let the user save the file. This limitation is likely to help prevent the obvious spread of piracy, a limitation of the OS, or it is just feature-incomplete right now. The other downside is the player does not even reveal the song title or artist, so it is very bland and generic. Still, it at least works.

The second feature is a new toggle, buried under Settings > Account > Privacy for 'Read Receipts'. Like all privacy tools on WhatsApp, it is two-way. There is a warning below the toggle that states:

"If you turn off read receipts, you won't be able to see read receipts from other people. Read receipts are always sent for group chats."

This feature has been long overdue for WhatsApp, as some people just do not like to send out when they read your message.

There is no word when these features will go out to the public release of WhatsApp. Usually, the developers add a few features, test and tweak them before going out, so we could still be weeks out from these hitting the main line.

Note: The private beta of WhatsApp is by invite only and currently full. Please do not ask how to join as there is no public sign up.