Latest WhatsApp beta brings more backgrounds, refined fonts and fixed Broadcast

WhatsApp is in many ways the go-to messaging app for many these days. Even more so after its momentous purchase by Facebook, who released their own highly-acclaimed messaging app this week.  

We’ve been covering the beta recently, showing you what’s in store for the upcoming public release. Since our last coverage, there have been a few updates, including one just this morning bringing it to build 390.

No new features have been included in this update, though Broadcasts returns after being pulled in an earlier release. It now has a more detailed instructions screen. Here are some other changes:

  • More background chat images – previously there were 6, now there are 41 HQ images
  • Contact font reduced – In chats, the name of the contact you are conversing with is much smaller now, taking up less screen space and giving more room to the chat

That’s on top of the already completed Media AutodownloadCustom notification sounds, new Privacy settings, background image support, and a redesigned Settings page.

From that perspective, it looks like the WhatsApp team is tidying up things before the big public release. There’s no indication of when that will happen, but we can’t imagine it’s too far off as the last update was way back in January when build 356 was published. Having said that, there’s no sign of inbound VOIP abilities or the ability to attach pre-recorded MP3s from one’s music library.

What do you think of the new WhatsApp features that are coming? Will it solidify their ranking as a top messaging app for Windows Phone?

Note: WhatsApp beta is a private beta, so we are not sharing the link as it would not work for any non-listed members. There currently is no public way to sign up for the beta, so please don't ask.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the 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 watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. 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.