WhatsApp web seems to be finally getting some much-needed attention. We are pretty familiar with new features constantly rolling out on the mobile version of WhatsApp but this wasn’t the case with the desktop version.
One of the bigger changes is the addition of a Picture in Picture (PiP) mode. This allows users of the desktop/web versions of WA to continue their video calls or watching videos in a smaller window whilst chatting and browsing in WhatsApp (without the need to exit WhatsApp).
According to WhatsApp BetaInfo, in order to use this feature, you need to install the 0.3.1846 update. To verify the version, open WhatsApp Web > Settings > Help. If the version is not 0.3.1846 but it’s older, you should clear the cache of your browser. When you are sure to be at least on 0.3.1846, you can test the feature simply sending or receiving a video in a chat.
Other features made available to desktop users…
Web and desktop users now have the ability to refine when they receive notifications on web. The control is not as particular as it is on mobile but apart from enabling and disabling sounds and notification previews you can now also turn off alerts and sounds for certain periods like you can with groups.
The final change I noticed was more of a visual than fucntional tweak and it’s the least significant shift (to me at least). Users of the web and desktop versions of WA can now change their chat wallpaper. Right now the options are limited to a set of colours only. If you want to choose a personalised picture you are out of luck for now.
Anyway, for those using WhatsApp Desktop/Web it’s a welcome change to see WhatsApp focusing on this platform as that hasn’t been a really big focus of theirs before. These updates shouldn’t be taken to mean there’s an entire shift as these are pretty old features just coming. Remember WhatsApp is a mobile application first before anything else and it only makes sense for features to debut on the platforms they will be used most.