WhatsApp beta update for Android brings Mentions and GIF support, video calling still in the works



WhatsApp, if you’re unaware, runs a beta program for Android users to give them a taste of a hoard of all new features that could soon make an appearance in the official release. And today, the messaging giant has issued yet another beta release, that brings with it a much-needed useful feature to make group conversations less confusing.

If you’re good at the guessing game, then you might have easily guessed — Mentions! Bravo, my friend!

The mentions feature which was first introduced on Twitter, Facebook(and now accepted by all) was aimed at making conversations simple and convenient. In the latest version #2.16.272 of the beta app, WhatsApp has now added the much requested mentions feature to group chats.

So, how does the mentions feature actually work? Well, the functionality of quoting a person in a group chat is exactly similar to the aforementioned social networks. Once you’re inside a group conversation, just type in the (@) symbol. You can also follow up the (@) symbol with an alphabet to directly select a particular person, or choose from the list of possible names you can tag in that group. It shows you — either the name you’ve used to save the contact or the WhatsApp username of that person.


You now not only have the option to tag multiple persons in a single message, but also a random phone number that is a part of the group. The mentions appear in ‘blue‘ as a link, and can be tapped to open the profile page of that individual. This works inside the Android app as well as the WhatsApp web interface, where you can see the profile in a box that opens on the right side of the chat window.

Another major and useful feature that users have been begging to add to the messaging app is now finally here. Yes, WhatsApp now supports GIFs, but can currently be sent only using a smartphone. This feature will surely receive a warm welcome from all users, especially trolls who’ve been waiting long to have some much needed fun on the messaging app.


Prior to this beta update, WhatsApp had introduced some new functionalities to the calling UI, with the addition of a callback and a voicemail feature. It had also introduced some new text formatting features to help users convey their thoughts in different types of text.

And last but not the least, let’s talk the feature that has been speculated to be coming to WhatsApp in the near future. The video calling feature is expected to debut on the iOS app, but eventually make its way to Android and Windows users in the consecutive weeks.


This feature will bring one-on-one video conversations(group to be added later) to the 1 billion user strong messaging platform, and that’s enough to trump the recently launched Google Duo. One could also expect it give a tough competition to the renowned FaceTime feature on Apple devices.

Source:: http://thetechportal.com/2016/09/20/whatsapp-beta-mentions-gif-support/


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