One of the most popular messenger apps in the world is WhatsApp, and that is no different for Windows Phone. The private WhatsApp beta program is where new features are introduced for testing before being pushed to the mainline. As such, it is fun to see where development is heading.
An earlier report on Twitter today noted that WhatsApp beta can now save songs to the phone itself. This ability would be a significant step up from where the beta was previously. Prior to the update, users could play the file but not access it through other means.
Version 2.12.46 of WhatsApp beta went live this morning, and it alleviates this issue. Technically, anytime WhatsApp receives a media file it gets saved somewhere, just like a cache. Evidently music is now saved to a hidden WhatsApp folder under the Pictures directory.
Unfortunately, this directory is of little use without a file explorer app likes Microsoft's Files. The Windows Phone Music app will not see it and such files are not recognized by the Photo app either.
Using the Files app (as seen above) a user could delete, rename, share or copy the file. This action would be necessary to get the song title right and so that the music app could then 'see' the MP3.
Needless to say, as is, this is a very clunky way for a user to handle files.
Beta features are not final
All of that being said since this is a beta and features are being added and tweaked we have no idea how the final product will behave. This current version of saving MP3s is likely just holdover, and it is improbable that this is the final way it will work. Because of that, I see little to get excited (or angered) over.
Perhaps the bigger deal is that being able to save MP3s from a WhatsApp message is likely on the table. Due to the odd file structure and OS limitations on saving media, the WhatsApp team have to do some different things when compared to iOS or Android. These things take time.
Finally, Windows 10 gets around all of these OS restrictions. That is good news for the WhatsApp team although we currently do not know their plans for Microsoft's next OS.
The next version of WhatsApp includes the ability to share MP3s and use WhatsApp Calling. There is not ETA for this release as it is a work in progress. See our hands-on with WhatsApp Calling to see it in action.
WhatsApp voice is only for the beta version of the app. The public version of WhatsApp that is in the Windows Phone Store does not yet have these features! Please do not ask about how to get access to the private beta, as there is no public sign-up method. Thank you.
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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.