The battle for instant messaging apps just intensified. Barely a day after Snapchat announced a slew of new offerings at its virtual Partnership Summit, news has started filtering in of WhatsApp testing upgraded search functionalities and a slew of other new features.
Various reports published on WABetaInfo.com, a blog that tracks developments around WhatsApp, suggest that the search functionality would allow users to identify messages using dates. The instant messaging app, owned by Facebook, already supports in-chat search, which doesn't allow users to search a sent or received message on a specific date.
The feature, currently in alpha phase of development, would permit users to filter out results of other dates though it remains to be seen how many of us actually would be able to recall specific dates or time periods when messages were exchanged.
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Screenshots provided by WABetaInfo indicates that a calendar icon would appear once the company rolls out the feature. The icon is seen positioned right above the keyboard about the Chat Search on WhatsApp for iPhone. Tapping on the icon opens up the calendar on which users can pick the month, year and date for the search. There is no indication that the feature would be available on Android but in the past WhatsApp has always launched new stuff on both platforms.
This is not all. WhatsApp could also be readying a redesigned storage usage section that allows users to view large files that get stored upon receipt. There would also be a Forwarded files option in the Storage usage that helps users filter files that have been forwarded via the messaging app. Looks like WhatsApp is taking user complaints around storage issues quite seriously.
The Storage usage section also appears to have a Sort option according to the images available that suggests a facility to view photos shared by one contact. We hope the feature provides users with the capability to sort photos chronologically as well as by the file size. This would go a long way in retaining pictures and discarding those that carry everything from memes to motivational messages.
In addition, WhatsApp also appears to be working on an easier Delete message option whereby users can remove all messages barring the starred ones. The screenshot shared by WABetaInfo suggests that a Delete All except Starred option would be placed alongside the Delete All button. A similar Delete all functionality could be in the works for Storage as well where users can junk all messages except the starred ones.
In another report, the blog post indicates that WhatsApp could have a dedicated player for ShareChat videos that could seamlessly play videos within the app just as Instagram and YouTube videos can do at present. In other words, the picture-in-picture format for videos from ShareChat could be another feature readying for launch on WhatsApp.
The picture-in-picture format was introduced in January 2018 for iPhone users and quickly expanded to Android thereafter. It included support for Facebook, Instagram and YouTube videos last year and with developers working on getting the same format for ShareChat, it looks like WhatsApp is getting ready for easing the way all types of videos play within it.
Other features said to be in the development phase include an image search on the Web for iPhone users that could go a long way in curbing fake news circulation. A similar feature for Android has also been in testing for some time now though there is still no update on this front.
All the news features mentioned by WABetaInfo are reportedly in the testing state and may undergo multiple tweaks before they actually get rolled out on WhatsApp. In the past the blog has been largely accurate with its predictions, so we believe that some, if not all of these may soon become a reality.