Sneak Peek: WhatsApp for Windows Phone 7.8 also getting refresh as new Beta images leak

There’s nothing quite like waking up to some screenshots of the new beta version of WhatsApp, the popular mulit-platform messaging client. We’ve already detailed some of the changes coming for the future Windows Phone 8 branch, an update that looks to be quite massive. But for those on 7.8, we’re told that version is getting updated as well.

Though the 7.8 branch of WhatsApp evidently won’t ditch the background audio API for connections (more on that below), it does bring some other new features and at least shows that the WhatsApp and Nokia teams aren’t forgetting 7.x users with the planned update.

Although the audio API (aka “music streaming”) feature will remain, it has been optimized and re-written making it “much faster” this time around. As to why it is still there, the WhatsApp team feels that it’s a good solution for an uploading problem. Basically if you attach a video (or large photo) and minimize the app, that media will continue to upload in the background because of that audio API usage.

By not using this, a lot of users complained that they would either have to leave the app open and wait for the upload to complete or were confused when they minimized the app and it didn’t upload their media.

Windows Phone 8 presumably can handle background tasks a bit better which is why we’re expecting that version to ditch the audio API. By branching the two builds, WhatsApp can get the best of both worlds for their users--that's our guess, at least.

Other features in this build include:

  • new chat smiley support
  • link to voice call
  • square notifications
  • fast resume
  • double wide tile
  • larger inline image support

No word on an ETA for the update, but it looks like the WhatsApp team is nearing completion and it shouldn’t be too much longer (we’re guessing the first week of June, give or take, is a good estimate).

Thanks to our source for the info and screenshots!

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.