WhatsApp my be the most popular messaging platform around but it’s by no means faultless. The Facebook team are constantly updating it with new fixes and features, the latest of which are set to be particularly handy.
WhatsApp v2.17.81 for iOS is now rolling out and with it comes in-app YouTube playback and a voice record lock.
In previous versions of the app, if you were sent a YouTube link, users would be directed to YouTube — via the dedicated app or a web browser — to watch the video. In this latest iteration, YouTube videos will play (presumably with ads) right inside the conversation window: and you can even pop them out with picture-in-picture support.
Whether or not auto-playing next videos is also available remains to be seen, but I’d say it’s likely, given Google’s current stance on YouTube’s integration with other services.
As for the voice recording, this means you’ll no-longer need to hold down the record button when sending a voice message, but will be able to latch it, leaving you free to hold the phone however you want.
I’m especially pleased about that last addition, seeing that I often awkwardly hold the phone to my ear when sending a voice message in public to pretend I’m in a real conversation. Being able to actually take my thumb of the screen is going to make my ruse all the more realistic.
Though these features have only cropped up on iOS right now, but they’re unlikely that they will remain there — I expect Android will catch up in the coming weeks.