We're always keeping an eye on new WhatsApp features. The latest WhatsApp update - at least that one shared with WhatsApp's beta testers group - shows that the company is trialling a new global search function. The feature was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it affair, but it's great news for those that rely on WhatsApp for the majority of their communication. Head to the update section below for the all the details on the latest changes to WhatsApp.
In some of the latest versions of WhatsApp given out the beta testers group, global search made it debut. Usually when you tap the search icon you can only search for the names of your WhatsApp contacts. This latest version extends that search to all words in all conversations. This means finding that particular chat a breeze.
However, like the Google Drive chat backup option, this feature has since been removed, but at least we know that WhatsApp is interested in testing it. Let us know in the comments what you think of this feature and if you'd like to see it introduced permanently.
We've contacted WhatsApp for clarification on these elusive (but very useful) beta features and will update this article with any information we receive.
May 15, 2015: WhatsApp version 2.12.87 introduced a number of design improvements to its interface. Most notable of these is the lighter conversation wallpaper, material design icons, and an improved call interface in employing WhatsApp's "teal" color scheme.
Another minor additions which you may or may not notice are the in the more subtle search menu, with "search..." now faintly written instead of the spyglass icon. Download the latest version via APK mirror, and check out how the call window now looks below.
In India, meanwhile, the country's third-largest private sector bank launched 'Ping Pay', a service which will allow its customers to transfer money using WhatsApp. Customers will be able to send money even to non-Axis bank accounts using Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), with a Rs. 50,000 daily limit. Its success could pave the way for other countries to start using WhatsApp as a payment service.
April 22, 2015: We're not entirely sure when this change happened, but newer versions of WhatsApp (but not the version available in the Play Store - you'll need at least v2.12.30 for this feature) let you mark an unknown number as spam when you block it. If you receive a message from a number you don't have in your contacts list, you will see an option to report that number as spam when you block it. Here's the screenshots of the feature in action. You can still block a number (without reporting it as spam) in the overflow menu on the top right of the conversation.
Version 2.12.45 of the WhatsApp APK introduced a feature whereby you can backup all of your messages, contacts, and settings to Google Drive. You can access the new features by going to Settings > Chat settings > Chat Backup. Here you can choose how regularly you want backups to occur, as well as whether you want backups to happen over a mobile data connection as well as Wi-Fi.
Backups to Google Drive are scheduled for 4 am, though you can manually choose to 'Back up now' at any time. Interestingly though, the feature has been removed from subsequent versions of WhatsApp, including four versions released over a 24-hour period on April 21-22. We've contacted WhatsApp for clarification on the feature's removal, and will update this article as soon as we know more.
You can download the WhatsApp 2.12.45 APK at APK Mirror along with newer versions (that don't have Google Drive backup enabled). You can also pick up the WhatsApp APK on the official WhatsApp download page. Just make sure you have the exact version number you're after, as WhatsApp only hosts one APK at a time.
April 14, 2015 - WhatsApp update delivers Material Design at last
The latest WhatsApp update, v2.12.38, has finally delivered a Material Design overhaul to the world's most popular instant messaging app. The update brings about a long-overdue visual makeover, but retains some parts of the app we've all come to rely on, including that funky default wallpaper. See below for screens and to grab the APK for yourself right now.
Admittedly, there's nothing too revolutionary in the overhaul. The thing about Material Design is that we know what we're going to get. The update brings round profile icons and the three tabs at the top has become joined with the WhatsApp banner up top (which, incidentally, has lost its logo). The icons for searching, calling and the overflow menu are slightly remodeled and the green color is even a little more lively.
Right now the Play Store doesn't have the latest version with the Material Design changes on board. For the latest version you'll have to enable Unknown Sources in your Security settings (don't forget to disable unknown Sources once you're done) and then head to the WhatsApp websiteto download the latest and greatest APK.
31 March, 2015 - WhatsApp voice calling out now
As long as you have WhatsApp version 2.12.19 or above, which is the first version that does not require an invitation call (which admittedly didn't work for everyone anyway), you'll be able to use the WhatsApp calling feature. You will need to enable ''Unknown Sources'' in your device's security settings first so you can install it.
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We've found the call quality to be a little patchy but some are claiming it's even better and more stable than Skype. We'll assume the concrete bunkers we all live in is causing the problem and not WhatsApp's efforts. Once enabled, you'll see a three-tab layout with a calling option next to your contacts.
If you're having any trouble getting the service to work, you can try some alternative methods in our guide on how to manually enable WhatsApp voice calling. If you want to know how to silence incoming WhatsApp calls now that you've got yet another calling channel to worry about, here's a quick guide for that too.