Summary of recent WhatsApp beta for Android news (2.17.264+)



WhatsApp recently submitted some new updates through the Google Play Beta Program: let’s go see together all new features and improvements ..


Recently we talked about the new group description feature, that will allow to all administrators to set a description in their groups, in future.
Thanks to these recent updates, where the feature is still under development we can discover that the group invite link will be improved.
When you share a group invite link, all users that have it can join the group.
Tapping on the group invite link, a list of all participants of the group will be shown and the user will decide if he really wants to join the group.
Later, when the group description will be available for all users, also the group description will be shown to anyone was invited through a group invite link.

At the moment, the group description can contain 2048 characters, but this value can change in future with the roll-out of the feature.
We will notify you if this value will change.


In these new WhatsApp beta releases, WhatsApp is officially supporting Android O.
This means that new features of the system will be supported by WhatsApp soon, and the first one is already enabled by default.
Since the 2.17.265 version, Android users are able to perform video calls in the Picture in Picture mode, like it’s happening on iOS.

This mode is very convenient, because while you are in a video call, you can message your friends without losing the video.

At the moment this feature is available for Android 8.0 users only.


New icons have been added in the 2.17.266 update about the possibility to format text in WhatsApp.
Selecting the text, these new icons will appear:

This feature works for Android 4.4 and lower.


WhatsApp has added a feature that allows to select multiple photos directly from the Camera.


WhatsApp is continuing to work on the Live Location feature (that’s still disabled by default), that will allow to share your location in real time to groups and/or your contacts.
In the 2.17.269 beta, a new change has been applied about this feature, bringing the time from 4 to 8 hours.

Instead, in the 2.17.272 beta update, WhatsApp started to work to implement a button to return to your location, so it will be easier to move to your location if you navigated in the map.

The most important thing that you should know is that you will be able to share your live location only if the battery saver feature of your Android device is disabled.


WhatsApp added app shortcuts in the 2.17.277 beta, that’s enabled by default for all users having Android Nougat and newer.
Like iOS, there are these shortcuts: New Chat, Camera and Starred Messages.

Probably the “Search” shortcut will be added later.