Next WhatsApp update on Windows Phone will also bring individual backgrounds for contacts

We know you’re eagerly waiting for the next WhatsApp update. And why not? After all the beta leaks, it’s looking to be a doozy. From custom notifications, media download controls, custom backgrounds, privacy controls to many subtle UI changes, the next version of WhatsApp is looking to be a wow-worthy update.

Tonight, another private beta update has gone out (build 398), and it brings something even better than the ability to set a background image for all your chats: the ability to set custom images for individual contacts. Give your best friend one image, your significant other another and yet another for your colleagues, the choice is yours.

We’ve already documented the custom background image function, which will give users four options:

  • Gallery with 41 HQ images
  • Take a photo
  • Choose from albums
  • Search web

Furthermore, some other minor changes like the background selector, have been updated, in addition to ‘New group, ’ taking the place of ‘My status’, which has gone back into the menu system. Earlier reports had jump arrows in chats to hop quickly to the end or beginning of conversations; however these have been removed in later builds.  

No word on when this massive update to the most popular messaging app will go through, but it’s clear the developers are focusing heavily on performance, UI and features for Windows Phone users. And that's really exciting.

Note: WhatsApp beta is a private beta, so we are not sharing the link as it would not work for any non-listed members. There currently is no public way to sign up for the beta. So please don't ask for access.

Thanks, anonymous, for the info



There are 233 comments. Sign in to comment

Mista_Calais says:

When will this update be available? With 8.1?

CanGueler says:

I doubt the beta testers have 8.1 :)

Duduosf says:

Or maybe it was his intention of a joke, meaning that this is taking so long, that we'll probably see this update only after months, alongside the 8.1. At least that's what I got lol

Yes!! the beta testers don't have wp 8.1
And i think they might make it public by end of this month

longnd says:

Cool. Waiting for the next update :)

bbbneo333 says:

Simply Awesome.

Duduosf says:

I know right? Next time there's an article about this and it's not the update, I won't even bother reading...

richddr says:

Im guessing they will released it right after WP8.1 preview goes public....

That's my guess too.

The same for Flipboard, Foursquare update, FB update, FB Messenger Update, TR2 update, Subway Surfers update, Instagram out of beta update, Path out of beta update etc...

mesamit says:

@GuilhermeManso agreed :D

Aniket Bhat says:

Can't wait longer..!!!

Damn! These 3 weeks looks more like 3 years... >_<

OR_ion says:

Can't wait for wp 8.1!!

Aashish13 says:

And new games too.

Duduosf says:

All of these will update after 8.1? Nice! I'm still waiting for Flipboard. Thought they'd forgotten about WP. Foursquare needs some upgrade, too - as of now, I'm sticking with 4th&Mayor.

Xanthurum says:

Just an offtopic question: have you ever considered that fb might have bought wa in order to melt it into its own messenger app to eliminate his rival? What's your opinion on that? I mean at least somebody is collecting your data everytime, no matter which company. I really don't know what I should think about the current and maybe future situation, it's like ketchup or catsup or so... Cheers!

Dean Lewis says:

Considered it, but they don't talk like that and they also didn't do that with Instagram :P

Xanthurum says:

Of corse they don't, a lot of people will be gone... Hmm, it's just the amount of money they paid not fitting into my puzzle right now. Well, let's see what the future will bring...

adrian1338 says:

Ofc they do it. But you cant rename everything in one day or one year. it takes time.

Mayur says:

Makes sense, only thing FB does not have for their users and can get from you via WA is your mobile number. Which they already ask you to enter in their messaging app, but it is optional for now. Unless they start scanning your WA messages for targeted ads like Google, otherwise this purchase does not make any sense.

PolishHitta says:

Man, I hear all of these cool features on whatsapp and then I don't see them in future updates

Pratik Mehta says:

Daniel,y did u post this? :/

Because we're tipped on it and you all comment on it. That simple, really.

pan_ani says:

Well, if u don't post it, we wont comment on it. Seriously.

How about....i post what want? Lol This isn't a referendum and I can see what stories stick for traffic and which tank, it's not rocket science.

KM2612 says:

This is just wrong...showing candy to a kid and telling him..."You cant have it....just yet"

LOL! I see Pratik's point, he meant this but anyways we love leaks don't we?

@KM2612, so you're telling us not to post anymore 8.1 leaked info...got it. Look, you can't have it both ways. We either report on tips/leaks, or we don't. I'm not here to cater to your individual hangups, sorry.

rupanidm says:

Exactly! If u remove leaks and rumours from this website, nothing will be left, which is unbearable now. I hate Sundays lately :D

taymur says:

I love the fact that, if you go over the menu at the top of the website (which navigates between mobile nations websites) and view the articles in each, you can notably see that WPC, and Crackberry have waaaaay more comment going on their articles.

Yet developers dont see how hungry we are............

::ishouldbuyaboughtcat meme - ishouldbecomeabusinessman::

Ali Assaedi says:

well, mainly because mobile nation isnt the top iphone/andriod blog i guess, and even if it was,  there are TONS of sister sites for those 2 platform in comparrasion to WP/blackberry,.. 

hence why their users are spread across those sites, and why WPcentral is pretty active compared to sister mobile nations sites :)

but even tho WP have lower market share, it also means; competition is pretty small too. i dont know why  developesr dont invest in it :),  i think its time/risk worthy, and one day within  late 2014, i'll release my first game here ,or so  i hope:)

nitheesh1996 says:

When will update reach Store Daniel Rubino

bitfarm says:

LOL! No, we get jealous that you've access to all the cool things. ;)

aafa says:

Why not? WPC reports on official news and rumours and definitely on leaks. it's meant for WP news with opinions! Why are you here??

But when the update is come to public version...

CJ Thunder says:

Are there any customizable apps for messaging? That use your cell service and number?

taymur says:

Maybe its going to be available,in whatsapp? Maybe that's why they are not releasing it yet?

CJ Thunder says:

Really? "messaging" is an app, why can't we get third part ones?

Anant Anand says:

Hope they will fix crash issue....

Tomazon says:

And bring "Disable Autosave images" back!

smogg9 says:

COOL! AT LAST SOME CUSTOMIZATION ON WINDOWS PHONE! pretty much needed... but they should focus on the performance too , sometimes it feels BUGGY and doesnt work properly.

Aashish13 says:

We want first basics of watsapp to be perfect.

smogg9 says:

performance is basic to me..

WhippedKream says:

I agree with this lool, I dont see how performance isnt basic

it's buggy and lags or even crashes sometimes.. I wouldn't call that basic..


Shahar28 says:

We need different colors for contacts in group chats.

Yeah, heard that request before. Curious if that's on their roadmap.

Ronnet says:

Seeing how Windows has multiple colors in its design and Microsoft's firstparty apps on WP follow this design, I hope they will. As well as the option to have multi-color tiles on WP, to match Windows 8.

rahilsayed says:

Enough talks bring it on

iboy2604 says:

3 most exiting things r waiting 2 happen in APRIL-

1) WP 8.1;
2) Much Improved Whatsapp; &
3) My Happy B'day...LOL :P

waitng eagerly...

cuwe says:

Advance Happy Birthday :P

Happy B'day in advance buddy!
WPC should be tooooo busy by April then...

Sarang68 says:

My birthday also coming up in April!

Even my on the 24th. :) Advance wishes to all. :P For me, 2nd April is a better day than 24th.:P

Athul Paul says:

Hey my b'day is also on 24th April.. :)

ThePKReddy says:

Are you going to become a man this year?

Tilak Joshi says:

Include my Sucky EXAMS too lol:p

mpt15 says:

Wpc is hereby banned from posting any news articles on whatsapp until the update is released to the public. Everytime I read the word whatsapp in the news I hope its the update release, but its not. :(

We'll also stop reporting on all 8.1 news too. Fair is fair!

Madhu T C says:

Then there ll more comments on why you have stopped it;-)

mpt15 says:

Not really. We have a date for WP 8.1 as April 2nd at build. Whatsapp doesn't have a rumoured date at all. So its not the same, Daniel.

Wow. People will complain about anything. A news site about WP decides to post WP news......how dare they!

Get a grip, surely your life does not depend around a Whatsapp update.

mpt15 says:

Can't take a joke can you?

I thought jokes were meant to be funny?

ortizang says:

I like to be informed of all new things coming out. Patience is a virtue . Keep the good job Daniel!!!

Tilak Joshi says:

Your choice, the traffic on wpc will decrease.

Aashish13 says:

Why u are repeating this news?

Madhu T C says:

This is going to biggest update for WhatsApp just like WP 8.1..... Finally WhatsApp and MS are listening and implementing.

Also need a stable version which doesn't crash when you read old messages. And allows us to search for messages within an individual chat like the Android Version.

Yeah.. Seems faster too...
now tellme who are u?

Winnabe says:

Cant you see he's a Satya Nadella with an underscore in his name?

LOL "he's a Satya Nadella"! :p

xankazo says:

Just give the order, boss, and it will start rolling. Those lazy developers. :p

jay5353 says:

Update is coming this month end guys.i saw the article abt it on wmpoweruser.com

Sarang68 says:

Oh. You have used that name which cant be named on this site! How dare you! :). Daniel,when can we start using coloured emoticons?

Eas195 says:

No links for private beta version of WhatsApp. Sorry.

anvesh N says:

Waiting for this

Thanks for the link bro, it says they will provide free license to two makers, one is nokia I guess but who's next? Samsung?

Winnabe says:

Both the two OEM's must be local players, not Nokia & Samsung for sure.

Sarang68 says:

Karbon & Lava.

Yeah MSFT did mention their names for newer devices but didn't say about the licensing fees but it would be great to have them free...

Too much of foreplay, we want real now!

CobraJ82 says:

I hate you WPCentral you tricked me with he title I thought update is out

How naive you are!

xankazo says:

But when it's that gonna be?

Desean00 says:

The 7.8 version didn't update yet

jay5353 says:

Here is the link guys wmpoweruser.com/whatsapp-update-coming-by-the-end-of-this-month/

S_P_B says:

Which would coincide with build and hopefully 8.1 preview

borasar says:

what you and wmpoweruser failed to note is that he said that in February, and we're long past that

irsyadhhs says:

Where is the update?

Bryan Suazo says:

Again, good to know but i thought this was the release already...

aniket03 says:

Even i thought the same but after reading the article got to know that we still have to wait.

jay5353 says:

It is not a valid source i think he is ex-microsoftie Nawzil.

Nawzil says:

I didn't say end of March. They misunderstood what I said, that's not my fault.
But it's obvious that the update might be released this month, there is no point in waiting until Build.

nitheesh1996 says:

Nawzil I remember you telling on FB that update gonna come in second week only a day left for it.

Nawzil says:

I did not say so.

jnbnb says:

you said end of february


borasar says:

January 31: Mista_Smash @whatsapp @nawzil8 "when are you releasing a new windows phone update?"

February 9 by Nawzil8: "by the end of this month"

yeah you didn't say end of March, you said end of Feb. Then when the guy followed up with you in March you said "coming soon".

So who misunderstood what here? When the update will be released are you going to claim credit cause you posted "coming soon" and ignore the fact that you were wrong about Feb and just keep saying how you're never wrong and it's other people that misunderstood your responses? Didn't you say to Daniel Rubino that you're going to be more clear in your posts after you denied jumping on the fake BBM bandwagon, but then backtracked and said that people misunderstood your tweet back then as well?

also "it's obvious that the update might be released this month" here you go again, are we going to misunderstand this as well? If it's obvious then it will be released, if it's not obvious, then it might be released. This is just as good as "coming soon". 

Just admit that you're not a whatsapp insider and have no idea when the update will be released, cause you are only speculating based on the udpates to the private beta.


Nawzil says:

I said WMpoweruser misunderstood what I said. I did not say the update will be released by the end of March.
I once said it will be released by the end of February, but then they decided to add more features and release the update later with those features too. And even today we got something new in the beta, I think WP Central will post about it soon.

I never claimed to be a WhatsApp insider. ;)

PS: I don't care who don't believe me, I do what I do for those who care. :)

borasar says:

You certainly post like an insider. You don't say I think, you just say "end of month" "coming soon", then if what you said pans out, you claim that you leaked it first and if it doesn't you try to forget about it and when you get called out you say "people misunderstood me". You didn't outright say you're an insider, but you're certainly posing to be interpreted like one. 

Kashyapjani says:

This hype train has no station.

reda igbaria says:

When it is going to be available!!

AccentAE86 says:

I just want text to speech. PLEASE!!!! Could care less about backgrounds (goes against the clean design of WP imo) and the other stuff.

Kashyapjani says:

Couldn't* care less

aniket03 says:

Is audio share and save options included?

cannon#WP says:

If you guys don't want them reporting on things like this, then don't click and comment on it; but we all know that won't work because you have to comment on how much you don't want articles like this so it defeats the purpose.

peSHIr says:

Only "interested" in one thing: will the CAP_APPOINTMENTS request finally be gone so I can begin to contemplate to even install this messaging crapware and privacy nightmare at all...?

Kashyapjani says:

What cap is that cap?

rishabh876 says:

Features like ability to download songs to media library and send them, is more important than these things.
Also whatsapp badly needs a progress bar while downloading media.

I agree with your second thought. First is already there though not built-in, use Pocket File Manager to download media anywhere and send them by any means..

eusaphzai says:

lets hope they put some heart in it. i had been a user a android for the past 4 years just shifted to windows phone a month back. well some apps are way better on android/ios. apps on windows phone always feel like foster children of the developer....it seems that they never developed love for this platform...they build apps for the sake of building apps. i hope this changes in the log run. my primary motivation for switiching to windows was that i frankly got bored of samsung plastic and android and plus my corporate email wouldnt sync on my kitikaty......

Jupast says:

Hmmm, the Custom Tones seem to be for individual chats or group chats. 

Beyond the initial Notification tone, which that seems to apply to, does this also mean we can assign individual Tones to each of our Contacts, as we can in WP for Phone/Txt Tones.

Actually what would be handy is if it looked at your Phones Address Book and assigned the tone you've set for that Contact already. Not sure that's technically possible though.

Ashu56 says:

After all when will it release .... (:

Well ,I dont know why some ppl show anger on Daniel .its his job to showcase all the rumours and future updates.it takes time to explore the case nd write an article bout it. So one should respect it. I aint taking Daniel's side .i am with the guy whoz spending his time just to make people aware of the updates. More over if he has the beta version then dont cry, he must have earned it . But then again idk why I am writing all this coz we all know some selfcenterd fellas will always hate it.

RockmanNeo says:

I thought this was given when chat background was announced.
Wechat has it.

One of the most awaited updates.

DDDDDDanny says:

Wechat already has this long time ago. Also with the Moment feature in Wechat is like a integration of Facebook and Whatsapp.

Version 4 releasing in april 2 with improvement notifications, perfomance, a lot of featurea and perhaps New UI. You will remember this when it arrives.

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

blackjackrm7 says:

Hey guys out of topic but the other day i saw pes 2012 and modern combat 4 running on a Lumia 520 any idea how its happening?

tanya shah1 says:

maybe its a 525 or someone dev unlocked a 520 to install

My l520 update kab aayegi???
suckss wp8

tanya shah1 says:

jab tu engleeeeesss seekhega tabhi

(when he learns to speak english) lol :D

u suck not wp8

Iski kuch nahi kaar sakti.. :p

What u mean by l520 update? These updates are meant for all WP8 users irrespective of their makers and WP8 doesn't suck... And stop making pointless comments....

Dao Yong says:

I'm a beta tester for whatsapp using a lumia 520 and whatsapp doesn't crash anymore when i scroll up for messagers. This means that i can view old messagers faster without crashing Really Hope this update will be released soon for you guys

jinesh24 says:

How did you get to be the beta tester??


This. I'm waiting for THIS. Crashing a lot from last two updates. It is so annoying that I almost stop using this app.


taymur says:

I don't know why, but I feel that WP8.1 has something on the programming level that will all of this while still being smooth, I do t know if I'm even making sense, but seriously, when we moved from WP7 to WP8 we lost alot of smoothness, seems like we are getting it back. Figures crossed.

+1. I think that we're part of the only ones that have noticed that !

rhythm215 says:

And just when i saw this news i thought that the update is now public -_- T_T

blackjackrm7 says:

Hey tanya shah what's dev unlock? And it was a 520..vedio uploaded on october

myfyp2 says:

When? OMG, when? WHENNN!?

Paola1993 says:

This is a really nice feature!

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

blackjackrm7 says:

Hey 512ram guys ,you can play subway surfer on ur phone

You mean the pirated version! No thanks...
but deploy the original one using WP Powertools and play safe.... (requires dev account and dev unlocked phone though)

blackjackrm7 says:

Just go to the store and type subway surfer 512mb ram

blackjackrm7 says:

Sorry the game has been delisted

blackjackrm7 says:

I have it..its running superb on my 520

blackjackrm7 says:

Actually i with my friends developed the app

blackjackrm7 says:

Currently were trying to get cracked version of temple run 2 for 512ram

shaharukhs says:

But when they r providing next update....waiting from January

chmun77 says:

Availability?? Tired of leaks already.

blackjackrm7 says:

No one knows if imangi will bring tr2 for 512ram

blackjackrm7 says:

We sent them emails but they never respond

Aashish13 says:

So 8.1 is coming month end or 2nd April??

Updates or not, once when BBM is on WP, WhatsApp goes flying out of my WP. I don't like the fact that any tom, dick & harry in the world can message me individually and add me into a group chat WITHOUT my APPROVAL / ACCEPTANCE / CONSENT...

aerosmillie says:

I do think they should have a 'Confirm Group add' option

willhsujr says:

If can have security password would be even better!

BlackGoku says:

Yeah i also forgot abt that.That is also one of the major thngs we need!

SRoshan143 says:

Tired of leaks.. Should be updated ASAP..

pr0phecy says:

I can remember a time when the WPcentral staff wasn't fond of Whatsapp, good to see the Whatsapp articles are more "friendly" now that Whatsapp has plenty of features/updates for Windows Phone :)

hmptec says:

Sounds great.

skshandilya says:

What's app heats my phone and drains battery, please fix these issues before doing all these gimmicky features:(

Hard reset your phone

Cool but still waiting

Sander Schot says:

This guy used to work for microsoft and he says it will be here before the end of the month.



Kashyapjani says:

That guy commented on this article that he didn't mean what he has been quoted for. lol

Just bring it already, seriously....!
Btw instagram for Android got a major update, where is update for wp

Wael Hasno says:

What major update? Just a UI overhaul. They made it more "flat".. Figures..

Aashish13 says:

Scrolling of apps is still bad on android instagram and fb just but viewing pics and commenting is fast on android. On the other side fb and instagram app of android has a decent UI keeping the old one. Viewing pics on that aren't smooth but the scrolling of posts is fucking smooth

AtOmIc031 says:

I can't wait for this update :D

BlackGoku says:

Enough with the temptation already.I'm already sick of it.As i said if they improve the browsing feature without crash then this  update is worth it.And will it take a year for this update or what???

Marco Gomes1 says:

Hopefully all this features will come with WP 8.1 by April.

Wael Hasno says:

Been seeing beta information for long enough, release an actual update already!! Right now, WhatsApp is probably the most reliable messaging service on Windows Phone.

Aashish13 says:

Worlds reliable msg app.

We already knew that, right ?

Amol Shelake says:

when update available for public whatsapp version

I think they are bringing features after features in there private beta and would launch all of these features together on 2nd April. :)
Just pre-attached media files sharing feature required now and the fix for the usual crashes on 512 mb ram devices.:)

C'mon. Release it already!

Thanks for the update Daniel, please keep them coming.

akshaypn says:

This update is coming tomorrow...Friday..

l520user says:

How do u know?

nuclax says:

Does anybody know anything ?

WPUser111 says:

Please share genuine information.

nuclax says:

Do you believe in unicorns ?

Chris Yahya says:

Already downloaded the beta version. Works awesome.

nitheesh1996 says:

Give link to register chris

Chris Yahya says:

Sorry, i cant. Its for registered user only. And registeration is not available.

Hey but is that usb tethering feature coming with 8.1????

kellaz says:

Whatsapp, update us already... The suspense is killing me LOL