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Two great new and improved WhatsApp features

WhatsApp is an evolving app. Although the core feature of messaging our friends and family always stays the same, new features are being added all the time to help make the whole process easier. As well as adding new features, it is good to see the WhatsApp team working on old features to make them bigger, better, and, stronger. This is what today’s news is about, older WhatsApp features that are getting an upgrade.

WhatsApp consecutive voice notes land on the beta for Android and an improved Picture-in-Picture mode is coming, too

In December, we first brought you news of the WhatsApp consecutive voice notes feature. The new feature automatically plays voice notes one after another once you’ve hit play on the first one. The feature only works on voice notes that have been received consecutively and uninterrupted, so voice notes received later on in the conversation won’t play once the string is up. It also includes new tones that’ll let you know when a voice note has finished and also when the last voice note has finished.

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Back in December, it was only a bit of code that had been spotted in the WhatsApp beta. It wasn’t usable. This has now changed. The Android WhatsApp beta version 2.19.86 includes a working version of the feature. Consecutive voice notes are officially out for public testing.

The other feature that WhatsApp is working on improving is the Picture-in-Picture mode. That allows you to watch certain types of videos that you’ve been sent in chats while you’re still chatting to your friend. The feature starts up a mini video player for videos from YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Streamable that hovers and plays while you’re chatting away.

WhatsApp Picture in Picture mode on the inbox
Image via: WABetaInfo

Although useful, the feature has quite a few shortcomings, but it is now clear that WhatsApp is working to give it a bit more power. The biggest frustration with Picture-in-Picture is that you still have to close the video you’re watching if you want to switch between chats. Code in the latest WhatsApp beta indicates that this problem is being fixed. Also, it looks like WhatsApp is going further and making it possible to continue watching your video even when WhatsApp has been minimized and is only running in the background. It appears like these improvements to Picture-in-Picture will be available for Android 8 and newer when it receives a wider roll-out.

Picture in Picture WhatsApp minimized
Image via: WABetaInfo

Unfortunately, with these features only making just making it into the beta version now, there is still no telling when they’ll make their way onto regular WhatsApp. Consecutive voice notes seem to be further down the development path than the improvements to Picture-in-Picture but there is still no official word about when either will be ready for general release. As soon as we know more, we’ll let you know.

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