We’ve been teasing and dancing around the next iteration of WhatsApp for Windows Phone, an update that is looking to be quite considerable for the platform.
One new feature has just been revealed sounds more exciting than it is: call contact. No, this is not WhatsApp going all VOIP on us, but is instead just another means to facilitate an easier transition when communicating with people. In a chat conversation, users will be able to quickly direct dial the recipient by just bringing up their contact info.
New direct-dial feature in WhatsApp private beta
For instance, if you’re chatting with someone and they say something dramatic, instead of typing back you may want to call them right then and there. Currently, you would need to minimize the app, head to your People Hub, look them up and dial. In the coming update, you can just dial them right from the app (as it will hand off to the Phone).
It’s a small but interesting addition as it shows WhatsApp (and Nokia) are looking to more tightly integrate the popular messenger service within the OS. Who knows, maybe WhatsApp will be integrated into the OS fully down the road? Such a feat though would require a full OS update whereas for now, they can just do these little alterations to make it feel more native.
New features in WhatsApp beta for Windows Phone
WhatsApp is currently in a private beta (version 2.9.172) and is expected to hit v3.0 when it is released as a fresh overhaul of the service. Other additions found in the beta include:
- In addition to UI improvements we've rewritten our background agent code for increased performance (biggest plus no more music API usage)
- New smileys
- Fixes notification issues for WP8 users.
- Users can now see smileys on the double wide tile.
- Fast resume. (If the app is open and you click on the incoming notification it opens as if in Android, very fast really)
- On the start-up now it ask you to backup your chat history.
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No word on a release date for the new WhatsApp, but we’re figuring May 14th would be a good time to announce it.