All New WhatsApp Features Added in May 2024

In Short
  • WhatsApp has added some several new features and improvements to the app over the month of May.
  • Some of the highlights include completely redesigned interface on iOS, passkey integration, and longer voice status.
  • Other features are available for the Beta version of the app like chat themes, Channel analytics tool, AI profile photos and image generation on normal chats.

In the month of May, WhatsApp, our favorite messaging app went through many UI changes and added various quality-of-life features to elevate the overall experience. Since regular app users like you and me are always excited to learn what new things have been added to the app, we decided to curate all the new WhatsApp features added in May.

Some of the features discussed below are still under development and should become available in the coming months. We have divided the features that are live in stable for everyone and features that are upcoming for clarity’s sake. With that said, let’s dive in!

WhatsApp Features Added in May 2024 (Stable)

1. Green WhatsApp UI (iOS)

For the longest time, WhatsApp had a blue theme throughout the iOS app as opposed to the green theme on Android, Web, and other platforms. Finally, iOS received a major UI update shifting the color scheme from blue to green, offering a more consistent user experience no matter which device you use WhatsApp on.

  • Old Blue interface WhatsApp iOS
  • WhatsApp green new interface for iPhones

You can see the difference between the old blue and new green UI. This design overhaul also adds modern icons and improves the overall aesthetics of the app. This was a much-needed change but some iOS users are not happy. Well, there’s an upcoming feature that will let you switch back to a blue theme, so keep reading.

2. Passkey Support (iOS)

Along with the redesign, iOS users received Passkey support on WhatsApp. This essentially allows them to use their iPhone’s lock screen password or FaceID to log into WhatsApp during the setup process instead of using a six-digit verification code.

WhatsApp Passkey Support iOS

You will have to set up first to enjoy this feature by going to Settings > Account> Passkey. This will make the account setup process easier and more secure at the same time.

3. Longer Voice Status (Android and iOS)

The time limit for voice status has been increased from 30 seconds to 1 minute, the same as video status updates, for Android and iOS users. This gives you more time to express yourself in a single status rather than splitting them into two.

Extended Voice Recorded Status WhatsApp

4. Create or Follow Channels on Linked Devices

WhatsApp lets you add new channels or create your own from your primary device. But there was no way to do the same when using the same WhatsApp account on a linked device.

Add Channels From Linked Devices

This has been rectified with the latest update rolling out to both Android and iOS users. This update lets you manage your Channels even when using a companion device. This removes the hassle of switching devices and gives you more control over your WhatsApp account on a linked device.

Moreover, a recent Android beta update suggests that Locked Chats support is on its way for linked devices.

5. Add More People to Group Video Calls (macOS)

WhatsApp on macOS also received a significant update this month. Till now, you could add only 8 participants in a group video call. The latest macOS update upped this number, allowing you to now add up to 32 participants in a video call from your laptop.

This was a much-needed improvement as now you won’t have to switch to your phone to host large group video conferences. The update also shows media previews for all file formats that were previously available with limited formats.

Upcoming Features Added in WhatsApp Beta

6. Favorites Chat Filter

As the name suggests, this new chat filter will let you quickly access the contacts whom you chat with often. You can add contacts to your Favorites list from either the Manage Favourites option under this filter or add them directly from the main chat screen.

Favorites List WhatsApp

It even lets you arrange them in order based on how you want to prioritize the list. The best part is that you can even add groups to your Favorites.

7. Chat Filters Coming to Storage Manager

We all use WhatsApp to share media files (our family groups are guilty of sending boatloads of good morning images) that can sometimes take up a good chunk of your storage. But when it comes time to clear some space, it can be difficult to sort through the list of conversations, groups, and channels to see which one is taking up the bulk of the storage.

WhatsApp chat filters in Manage Storage section
Image Courtesy: WABetaInfo

To simplify this, WhatsApp is testing chat filters similar to what we see on the main chat screen. It will allow you to filter the storage based on regular one-to-one or group chats and Channels. This is going to make it easy for you to find a channel or group that receives a lot of media. Like other new features, this is coming to both Android and iOS versions of the app.

8. New Voice Call Bar

iOS and Android users will soon see a new voice call bar at the top when they minimize ongoing WhatsApp voice calls. This call bar gives shortcuts to end the call or mute it without having to move back to the call screen. This brings much-needed accessibility to the app during voice calls.

New WhatsApp Call Bar iOS
Image Courtesy: WABetaInfo

Currently, the app shows you a green bar with no shortcuts. You need to tap on it to visit the main call screen and access call controls.

9. Profile Photo Screenshot Blocking (iOS)

Android users can no longer save someone else’s WhatsApp profile photo and even the option to screenshot profile photos was blocked by WhatsApp last month. It looks like, iOS is about to follow suit. When trying to capture a screenshot of a profile photo, you’ll see the message – “Screen capture blocked” in WhatsApp on your iPhone.

Screen Capture Blocked iOS
Image Courtesy: WABetaInfo

This will be a big step towards user privacy and discourage others who take screenshots of other’s profiles without their consent and use them for malicious purposes.

10. Account Restriction (Android)

WhatsApp is looking to punish people who engage in malicious activities on the platform with a new account restriction feature. It is not a permanent ban but will restrict users from starting a new chat for some time.

Account restricted pop up in WhatsApp
Image Courtesy: WABetaInfo

As per reports, restricted accounts can still message people they were talking to before the account got restricted. This feature will use an automatic tool to detect spam-like behavior, such as sending messages in bulk or breaching the terms and service guidelines.

11. Autoplay Animated Images (Android)

WhatsApp is planning to make it easier for users to find new sticker packs, we might start seeing more people use them over time. But not everyone will be a fan of it and might not enjoy moving images in chats. For this, the app is testing a toggle to turn off auto-playing animated images.

WhatsApp Animated Images Toggle
Image Courtesy: WABetaInfo

This toggle suggests that animated emojis will soon come to the app. It will be interesting to see the increased presence of animated images on WhatsApp. This feature does not affect GIFs.

12. WhatsApp Chat Themes (iOS)

All these years, WhatsApp has stuck to its iconic green theme except for the dark mode. But it looks like, the platform is experimenting with theme support, as spotted in a recent iOS beta.

From the attached screenshots, you can see that WhatsApp might be adding five different color themes that will affect the chat background and the bubbles.

  • WhatsApp Themed Chat Bubbles
  • Chat Themes WhatsApp iOS

Choosing a WhatsApp theme will change it only for you and won’t be visible to others. This has been a much-requested feature for years, and I am glad that the devs are finally working on it. The feature is still under development but hopefully, it will be released to all users soon.

13. AI Profile Pictures (Android)

Meta AI is already rolling out to more users on WhatsApp, and Meta is already looking for more ways to integrate AI into the app. A recent Android beta revealed that we might soon be able to create AI-generated profile pictures on WhatsApp.

AI Profile Images WhatsApp Beta
Image Courtesy: WABetaInfo

This feature will leverage Meta AI and users will be able to enter a text prompt to generate an image to set as their profile picture. This way, people can create and set photos depending on their mood or how they want to express themselves without having to browse the web.

14. AI Image Generation in Attachments

Another way WhatsApp is integrating AI is by adding a shortcut to generate images from the attachments menu. Till now, you could only generate images within Meta AI chats, but this new upcoming feature brings it to the chat window.

Meta AI Image Shortcut
Image Courtesy: WABetaInfo

You just have to enter the prompt to create an image you want, then directly share it within the chat. It is an exciting feature and a lot of users on the platform would love to try it out for themselves. For many, this feature could be the first time interacting with an AI.

15. Clear Unread Message Count Toggle

If you are running a business or often receive a ton of spam messages from a business, then you’re going to love this new feature. WhatsApp is set to introduce an unread message clear toggle under Notification settings.

This will clear up all your previously unread messages when you open the app. Now, you can look into the latest messages without having to worry about the old ones.

Clear Unread Notifications
Image Courtesy: WABetaInfo

16. Analytics for Channels (Android)

WhatsApp is working on an analytics tool that will give users complete insight into their audiences. This will help them understand the performance of their content and how members engage with it.

WhatsApp Channel Analytics
Image Courtesy: WABetaInfo

In addition to that, the analytics page will help owners learn more about how many new users their channels have reached, changes in followers, and overall growth over the past 30 days.

17. Transfer WhatsApp Community Ownership

Community owners would be happy to learn that we will soon see an option to transfer community ownership on WhatsApp. This feature will make it easy for community owners to transfer their ownership to another member. The previous owner will remain community admin but other admins can demote or remove him if they want to.

Community Ownership Transfer
Image Courtesy: WABetaInfo

Also, if you didn’t know, you can create events in groups and communities. A beta update reveals that a new reminders option will soon be available for the events. This will let group members set reminders to alert other users about the event before it starts.

18. New WhatsApp Status UI, Mentions & More

WhatsApp will be adopting a new preview design for their status updates which resemble how stories appear on Facebook. You will also be able to secretly mention someone in your status and only they will get notified about it. The app is also adding an audience selection screen to double-check who you are sharing the status with before uploading it.

WhatsApp Status New features
Image Courtesy: WABetaInfo

We will also see minor improvements like an updated color picker for the drawing editor. This will let you pick colors right from the attached image. Along with an emoji reaction option to quickly react to other’s status updates using an emoji. This is similar to how you can like other’s stories on Instagram and Facebook. These features are still in beta and will be available soon.

This sums up all the changes and features that WhatsApp has received throughout May. These new additions are surely interesting and I am pretty excited about the new theme options and AI features coming to the app.WhatsApp is also polishing its interface across different versions of the app to provide a more seamless experience no matter which ecosystem you are a part of. If you enjoyed this list then tell us in the comments below and we will be back with another one next month.

comment Comments 1
  • Adnern Andi says:

    Please and please meta improve the whatsapp Animations to be smooth on Android and to be light just like on IOS Thank you

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