The popular messaging app WhatsApp has been quiet lately for updates on Windows Phone. In fact, it has not been updated since the end of June, which is a very long time in technology. The good news is the private beta was receiving updates at a steady clip, including one yesterday.
The latest version of WhatsApp beta is 2.11.574.0 and with it are a few new features that have been added over the last few months. Here is your first look.
In place of email conversation history, you can now archive messages for safekeeping. Holding down on the user name reveals a pop-up menu with 'archive' as an option. To view archived messages, on the main menu with ellipsis, you can select 'archived chats'. You can also un-archive them. Emailing chat history can now be found under the person's contact info.
2. Send custom location
Sending your location to another user has been present in WhatsApp for some time but with the forthcoming update, you can move your position around on the map and send that instead. This option is good if you plan to move to another spot to meet with someone. It is also useful to deceive your spouse about where you are, but I digress. You can also still select Nearby Place for quick reference of popular locations.
3. Add captions to images, crop, and rotate
A more robust photo editor is featured, letting you crop, rotate, and add captions to photos before sending.
4. Smaller fonts for higher resolution screens
The fonts get tighter and smaller in WhatsApp, letting you see more on the display and making Lumia 1520 owners happier.
5. Backgrounds for individual users
Currently, you can add a background to all of your chats under the Chat Settings option. With the beta, you can add wallpaper to individual contacts, giving each chat a unique look and personality.
Finally, there are the usual unreported fixes, optimizations, and performance improvements to the app.
6. Windows Phone 8.1 only and release?
Unfortunately, there is no ETA for when this update for WhatsApp will go public. Some rumors, particularly one on Reddit claims it is "soon" but it is not clear how they would know this, as they are unverified source. It is clear though Windows Phone users are long overdue for a WhatsApp update, so hopefully it happens sooner than later.
Interestingly, the latest version of WhatsApp is Windows Phone 8.1 only, marking a significant departure for the messaging app.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.