WhatsApp adding MP3 sending and read receipt switch in latest beta build

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.

Daniel Rubino

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.

  • And the open version stiil has delay notifications . Removed from my lumia
  • Its weird .! They are incomplete well hope so since its a private beta things will improve further :)
  • What about WhatsApp calling?
  • That problem is not widespread.
    I have none issues with whatsapp.
    I just don't get why there's a beta.
  • That's strange, in my case the notifications are instant, WhatsApp is pretty reliable, but who knows.
  • Hike is an excellent alternative for Indians at least.
  • Actually it's far far ahead from WhatsApp in terms of UI and features. It's just that WhatsApp gained its momentum long before hike messenger and now everyone uses it. There's a big price for being late in the competition, you know. Something we, WP oweners and hike developers are well aware of, lol.
  • Telegram FTW. The only messenger I see that gets updated alongside its iOS and Android versions, and has almost everything covered.
  • Whatsapp should improve its UI for WP, so that atleast look and feel of whatsapp remain consistent across all 3 major platform. Right now whatapp for WP looks dull and boring. Hike is way ahead in terms of UI in WP  
  • Very true, WhatsApp for wp has a very bad UI. Android has a good UI, very intuitive. Look n feel is awesome. Viber for wp has a descent UI, with voip options. WhatsApp still struggling to bring them to WP.
  • I have five different lumias and none of them experience delayed notifications.
  • No delayed notifications for me either.
  • no delays for my lumias too
  • Still struck on Windows Phone 7?
  • My 830 Suffers from this delay problem once in every 3-4 months. All I do is wait for it to fix itself and after 2-3 days it starts acting normal. Strange , But works.
  • Alternatives..Telegram messenger ;)
  • There are delays and for group conversations, it only notifies for the first reply and just updates the live tile for all others. PS: There were no problems in some earlier versions.
  • Atlast..!! :D
  • Well I still didn't understand about that read receipt switch..is it something related to knowing when the msg was delivered to someone and when did he read it??
  • It's about the grey in the lower right corner of your sent messages that turn blue when someone has read your messages
  • i hope that u and other people already know this (just helping who dont know this yet) To send MP3 in current versions..Locate the mp3 file and using your file manager, rename the extension of your file from MP3 to MP4.Move that file to any folder like Camera roll or screenshots in Pictures folder. Then simply go to your WhatsApp conversation, click on the Attach -Video-find your file in folder- send.
  • Or use an app called WhatsApp video optimizer. Pretty handy. ;)
  • Finally geez
  • Ahh finally! Wonder when they will release that for public. Does that mean we can also receive songs and save it to SD card?
  • We can't save the music as of now..:(
  • Have you read the article before commenting?
  • they also added a feature to select multiple chats in the list to archive/delete them.
  • You sure about this feature? I want that feature only
  • Oh fuck i thought multiple message select and delete /forward
  • Yes its there, though can't copy/forward more than 10 texts at once
  • That's true for Android,too. You can't select more than 10 texts. Glad they added this feature now only Whatsapp calling is remained.
  • Yes noticed that too.
  • Daniel..That was a awesome article to read..Good work..Glad that Whatsapp is being updated frequently as per our suggestions.
  • Nice to see something coming up.
    But WhatsApp allows users to save the Audio files on Android, so how are they preventing piracy there?
  • Comparing with Android app is not good thing..But you have a point dude..!!
  • Then either the feature is not yet complete, or a limitation on the OS. Either is plausible, we will have to wait and see.
  • I hope Whatsapp developers will do something on their end to solve this though I doubt OS limitation of Windows here..
  • even i feel it's still under development.
    shouldn't be an OS limitation.
    apps like Music+ are able to download songs, make folders based on artists and album and save the songs there.
    so definitely not an OS limitation.
    i suppose they first added option to send. and they will later add option to save.
  • I would rule out OS limitation here, because browsers like UC can store files to the active storage, either on SD or Phone.
    Let's see.
    One thing missing out here is WhatsApp calling. May was the promise by WhatsApp developers
  • Has to be os. We can't save videos or audio in text messages either... And that is such a bummer.
  • It's not the OS. Audio files you receive via bluetooth go into your music folder. There are many apps that save either to your music folder or allow you to choose where in your Media library a file can go. Browsers, downloaders and other messaging apps. The fact that the default messaging experience and WhatsApp don't suggests that either it was not a priority for the developers at the time, or a decision they made to not support it  
  • It's not OS limitation because hike allows you to save audios. Even we can also send pre recorded video in hike.
  • Google doesn't care (?) You can't save on iOS.
  • Google only cares about not caring about Windows
  • When will be WhatsApp calling available to windows phone, all android users teasing from last 2 months about it.
  • If we knew, we would report that. Sorry.
  • just give them a skype video call whenever they tease you with a whatsapp voice call. :)
  • They have Skype app on play store.
  • Tell them "Skype works better in my phone... So I don't need alternate apps for video call like your LoadingDroid or iUseless"
  • But, the android and iOS apps are much better than the one on WP :(
  • Lol. True.
  • I don't know why there is even so much hype about it. No one I know uses it.
  • But still awating for calling feature ...
  • Disappointed!
    I really would like to see significant UI changes
  • If it's not in the beta, it doesn't mean they aren't working on it. Development is branched.
  • Pressing the back button now suspends the app in the background instead of closing it.
  • Hmm, interesting. The public version doesn't have that yet.
  • Is it now a WinRT app?
  • Of course not. There would be necessary A LOT of work to bring it to WinRT
  • It is a winRT app.
  • The performance and the way it's managed in memory says otherwise. Did it got changed to RT recently? Can you link to the article?
  • "In terms of performance, the app now appears to suspend when exited via the back button rather than terminating"
    Only winRT apps suspend in the background
  • Ah, so the beta is suddenly WinRT now? How surprising to see that this happened. Thanks for the link. It's great that they did this! ^_^ I can't wait for the next update!
  • Thanks
  • NO need to bring the app in WinRT. They already made a WhatsApp Web app which run through browsers like Mozilla,Opera & Chrome.
  • They are talking about Silverlight vs WinRT, not WindowsRT
  • So the read receipt, is the blue ticks right?
  • That and the 'hold and press' feature for 'Info' that tells you even more details, including time received and time read.
  • Oh that sounds so heavenly, I can finally live in peace =) Thanks for the follow-up and for keeping us updated Daniel!
  • This feature available from along time i guess they added the read receipt in privacy so no one will know if you read the message or not
  • Well that was there since a long time I guess.
  • Pressing the back button now suspends the app in the background instead of closing it.
  • Goto battery saver>Whatsapp>turn on run this app in background. Done
  • Its not this way. This enables push notifications only.
  • Daniel..Do we get to know the mp3 file name when received?
  • Nope.
  • Finally! Great news!
  • Do we have an option to clear all the chats at once..?
  • Whatsapp still bad on windows phone cos i can't delete huge data that its make it i must to delete all whatsapp from my phone
  • huh? what you wana say exactly?
  • Storage sense.. App data
  • Be specific. Deleting chats (NOT archiving) removes the pictures and videos that those people send you. You can also delete those pictures manually by using the Photos apps and directly from the whatsapp folder by using the Files app.
  • If you have run out of space, maybe it's time to transfer old pictures and videos onto a pc? Or get a Micro SD card?
  • Guys he is talking about the "app data" thing.. Like most apps "app data" increase as much as u use it in WP. E.g twitter, WhatsApp hike.. Check storage sense and apps section
  • Do u have huge data that means u have your own big data to be processed.
  • WhatsApp calling feature that's all I need :\
  • I think it a good and welcomed feature. though andriod phone already have it. i wish voice call is also added with that file transfer.
  • The save feature is available if *.mp3 files opens by default with other app
  • But how?
    From my knowledge mp3 opens only within the hidden music hub(not even xbox music)
  • We need a redesign too (? Bur thanks for this, Mr. Whatsapp
  • Daniel or any of the private beta testers have you tried sending mp3's larger than 16 MB?
  • At least sending audio files would now be possible,
    Thanks to developers.
  • Great!!! It's like having a legs but we can't walk. I know this will certainly change after Windows 10. ;)
  • What's the audio sending size limit? Did they increased video limit from 16MB?
  • Nope they wont but a solution is there which is WhatsApp optimizer app.
  • Just make it faster and give us cool animation effect
  • Is there any major app on windows phone which is on par with the android and ios version? I really doubt..After 5yrs also the scenario is still the same..
  • Hike messenger is for one.
  • Ya u r right, hike is superb on WP but there also u cant send and receive mp3..
  • hike is working on to bring that feature...
  • That's a great news..
  • Telegram but sadly not much of them use it. Its an incredible app!
  • WhatsApp really needs to improve their push notifications because a lot of times they come late and do not come at all when I'm in roaming. It wont matter to me if the mp3 feature isn't present. I need the read receipt toggle badly.
  • This is surprising. I've had this notification issue with Skype but never with Whatsapp... Hopefully this recent change to WinRT with this version will improve that issue if people are facing it.
  • Works charm in my lumias.
  • Windows central is quite late these days. WMPU quite ahead
  • Felt that. I believe those ppl are inside every of the popular betas. And have hands inside Microsoft.
  • I've never needed to check any site other than windows central.
    BTW does wmpu have an app?
  • Yes. They finally made one. However, I prefer Windows Central app over that any day :-)
  • They don't have anyone as suave as Daniel though, so in the grand scheme of things they lose.
  • Finally but we need whatsapp calling because we are now falling behind
  • Whats the use of sending or recieving an mp3 if u cnt save it..
  • Jus forwarding...
  • Ohhh Man is want multiple selection of messages so bad
  • hopefully they are also working on the battery usage of this app
  • I'm so glad :D
  • Wats the use if we get all these features...at least 6 months after android & ios...?
  • Better late than never.
  • How much time do they generally take to bring new features to the public app?
  • I can't wait for Windows 10 and a much needed design boost. Those screenshots are just too ugly.
  • Still testing or permanent apps???
  • Great, Weldon -but isn't it funny other are enjoying WhatsApp calling, and presently we are waiting for mp3 sending.
  • Waiting for VOIP calling
  • Better use telegram and share unlimited music with your friends as documents
  • Finally they got the mp3 feature :p I still never get notificatiions when on wifi. Have to open the app to get all the messages back to back. hard reset doesnt help either :\
  • The only problem i face in whatsapp is that when i go back from a chat it pauses for like a second to show all the chats.. L1520 user here..!!
  • I think if MP3 sharing is in the state mentioned by Daniel, then it is useless. Don't bring half-cooked feautres. What's the use of sharing MP3 like this. Work on full sharing with track title shown and then release it or don't release it. WP Community has already learned to live without that. Launching a feature like this will only hurt.
  • Wtf! I thought we had the calling feature
  • What about the ability to turn off online status?
    Still not here.
  • Read receipt already present in my WhatsApp and am not on beta.. Don't know what's new then
  • It is there. But you cant turn them off ,as of now.
  • Stupid support.. Damn.. I don't wanna switch to android.. But apps always drive me nuts
  • I would love to see a transparent action bar (those with the buttons) :\
  • We already have the blue streak message receipt long ago except I don't really understand this new update
  • Someone please tell me what's read receipt.??
  • When you read a person's message, the 'double tick' mark in their phone next to the message they've sent you turns blue. If you decide to switch off read receipt, the above most likely won't happen.
  • I wonder....why biggest player of mobile OS doesn't care about piracy.....and weakest always console its users in the name of piracy.....pls stop fooling us.....its ur weakness.....not policy against piracy.....
  • probably the team won't look upon the UI until all the features are ready for the app :)
  • What's the point of the update? You could anyway share mp3 using 'whatsapp optimizer' . When are they ever gonna release VoIP?
  • What the hell is this..Android and ios users are already using calling feature.. And we are getting this stupid type of update.
  • waht about the seleting & forwarking multiple chat / audio / video at a time?
  • I'm not gonna ask.
  • My question is now that we will be able to send mp3's and hopefully save mp3's that others send us, will this also then bring us the ability to create custom alert tones for whatsapp? Please! 
  • WhatsApp calling update please