In recent weeks, WhatsApp has been seen working on a handful of new features. Some of these features are presently in development, while others are reportedly being tested in beta form (which means their rollout is not so far away). Most recently, WhatsApp was spotted testing voice/ video calls for its web and desktop version. We’ve compiled a list of WhatsApp features that are in the work and are likely to roll out in 2021. The new WhatsApp features are expected to enhance the messaging experience and introduce some new use cases for the app. Let’s take a look:
WhatsApp features expected to launch in 2021
1. Multi-device support
With this feature, WhatsApp users will be able to login to multiple devices simultaneously. The feature is currently in development and was spotted in the beta version of WhatsApp for iPhone back in November. Currently, WhatsApp only supports two devices at the same time, namely a phone and a desktop. The new multi-device support will reportedly allow users to add up to four devices on a single account. This means that once the feature gets rolled out, you will be able to log in from your iPad and iPhone at the same time, along with the desktop.
2. Calling via WhatsApp Web and desktop app
It’s arguably the most-awaited feature on WhatsApp. Both the WhatsApp Web and the desktop apps for Windows and macOS are rumoured to get voice/ video calling support. The feature will work the same way as messages sent from the desktop, in the sense that your phone with WhatsApp must have an active internet connection if you are using WhatsApp voice or audio calling from the web/ desktop app. Currently, you can only send messages/ files to contacts using the social messaging’s website and desktop app.
3. Mute video
WhatsApp doesn’t have the option to mute videos while sending them to a contact or uploading them as a status update right now. But going forward, the social messaging app is expected to allow users to mute the video. The mute video feature is still in the development stage and, as per a screenshot shared by WABetaInfo, a speaker icon would be available on the left side, next to the duration and file size details of the video that a user want to share. In order to mute the video, the user will have to tap on the speaker icon, before sharing it with someone in their contacts, a group, or as a status.
4. Read later
‘Read later’ is said to be an improved version of the existing Archived Chats feature on WhatsApp. When a chat is moved to read later, WhatsApp won’t send notifications for that chat. Additionally, the feature will include a ‘vacation mode’, which will ensure that the ‘read later’ chats work the same way as archived chats on the current stable version. Read later will also come with an edit button for users to customise settings. WhatsApp users will also be able to select multiple chats at once to quickly unarchive them.
5. WhatsApp Insurance
You’ll soon be able to buy insurance via WhatsApp in India. The Facebook-owned messaging platform is set to roll out health insurance and micro-pension products on its messaging platform in India through tie-ups with licensed financial services players. Initially, WhatsApp will sell SBI General sachet-health insurance cover and HDFC Pension schemes via its platform.
6. Join missed group calls
A future update will reportedly allow WhatsApp users to join group calls that they have been invited to after the call has started. It is a minor, but significant QoL (quality of life) upgrade as an entire group call doesn’t need to be restarted to include additional participants who may have missed it earlier.