Another week and another new WhatsApp beta feature. In fact, this time there are two – we certainly live in exciting times. Users on the WhatsApp for Android Google Play beta testing program will have noticed the new call back and voicemail features with the latest update to v2.16.189 of the app.
To recall, the two features had been spotted in April this year in translation requests. Like with other beta features for WhatsApp, there’s no telling when the Facebook-owned company will bring them to the stable builds for Android and iOS.
In order to see the new features, you will have to apply to the Google Play beta testing program for WhatsApp, and download the latest build, or alternatively download the signed apk from APK Mirror. Once WhatsApp for Android beta v2.16.189 is installed on your phone, make a call to one of your contacts – don’t worry, the recipient does not need to have the latest version of the app installed.
If the person you are calling declines the call, or does not pick it up, you (the caller) will see a new screen. Regardless of whether the call has been declined or ignored/ missed, the caller will see the same message – ‘Call declined’ – alongside three options – Cancel, Call back, Record voice message.
The Cancel option closes the new screen, while the Call back option bizarrely allows you to call back the person who just cut or ignored your call. The last option to record a voice message is being referred to as voicemail, but in essence works exactly like the voice messages users can send from the Chat interface. You have to hold to record, and once you are done, the message will be shown in the chat conversation between you and the recipient.
Are you using the WhatsApp for Android beta? Do you see the new call back and voicemail options? What do you think about them? Will they in fact be useful? Would you like to see them in the stable builds? Be sure to let us know in the comments section.
Earlier this week, the WhatsApp for Android beta app (and reportedly the WhatsApp for iOS beta app) got a new font. Users just have to type the grave accent symbol (`) three times before and after the word or phrase they are sending, and the result will be a monospaced, plain text (no formatting allowed) font that is ideal for sending snippets of code.
Previous features released in beta that have not yet made it to stable releases include mentions and group invite links, as well as improved music sharing and larger emojis.
WhatsApp in June received a feature that allowed users to quote messages when replying. The user needs to long press a message in any conversation to see a reply option pop up alongside star, delete, forward, and copy.
Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been adding new features steadily, and the most anticipated is video calling, which was recently spotted in testing on the Android beta app. To recall, the last major update to the platform was in Ma – the addition of document sharing on WhatsApp Web. Shortly before that, the company rolled out its first desktop app for Windows and OS X.