What we expect from the Facebook Developer Conference

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In a few days, we will discover what Facebook will present in their Developer Conference.
The last year, Facebook showed what WhatsApp was working on their app (stickers and groups calls), but this year what they are going to talk about?
Here some arguments we think they will discuss about in the conference..

IMPORTANT NOTICE
  • Everything mentioned in this article is not available yet.
  • WhatsApp is working on these features in the last few months in order to improve the user experience with no bugs: for this reason there is no issue if your WhatsApp version is updated and you don’t see these features.
CALLS FROM WHATSAPP WEB

In these months, WhatsApp was working on a lot of improvements for their web client, but their first priority was to implement the possibility to make calls from WhatsApp Web/Desktop.
The option to make calls will be available in the main menu in the chat:

As you can see, the only option visible in this screenshot is “Voice call”: video calls are in an alpha-stage of development, so it’s too soon to see it actually.
If the user selects “Voice call”, WhatsApp will start a call with the user:

This screenshot is incomplete because the feature is still under development, but it’s a possibility that WhatsApp will show it from a developer version, where the feature might be ready.

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ANIMATED STICKERS

Recently, we’ve published an article about Animated Stickers and we think that WhatsApp might present the feature right in the conference, seen that the last year WhatsApp presented the Stickers feature there.

An update of the framework on GitHub shouldn’t be necessary, because everything about animated stickers has been implemented in their official WhatsApp apps: we can just wait that WhatsApp will roll out the feature from their servers (and they should add new stickers packs to download, that contain animated stickers).

DARK MODE

The Dark Mode was presented for Facebook Messenger the last year: it’s likely WhatsApp will do the same thing.

Unlike Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp’s dark mode won’t be fully OLED friendly but it is based on a very soft gray color: however, we expect something more about it..
We already showed a lot of screenshots of the Dark Mode, in particular in our 2.19.87, 2.19.85 and 2.19.82 beta changelogs (the feature is not available yet), but we have never published a screenshot of the dark mode for the chat, because it’s not ready yet: maybe WhatsApp might show a screenshot of it in the conference.

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WINDOWS PHONE?

As you can notice, we have published a lot of articles about iOS and Android, but no one for Windows Phone: what’s happening?
Very few updates were available for Windows Phone, and the stickers feature is not available yet (enabled for Android and iOS on October 24, 2018): why?
Last November I’ve published a tweet about a new WhatsApp app, for a new platform:

https://twitter.com/WABetaInfo/status/1063372002092822529

We are ready to announce that the platform is called exactly Windows: what does that mean? Is WhatsApp finally developing an official UWP app (from Silverlight) for Windows?
Note that Microsoft will end the Silverlight support in 2021, so it might be a reason why WhatsApp is finally interested to develop a real UWP app.
Will they announce it in the developer conference? What better place to do that! We hope so for our Windows followers!

PAYMENTS IN MORE COUNTRIES

WhatsApp has already released the Payments feature in India. To receive an invitation to use the feature, the user should receive a “Payment request” from another user that has the feature enabled.
The Payments feature is one of the priorities of WhatsApp and Facebook, so they worked to extend the feature for new countries, as we announced on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/WABetaInfo/status/1106452573903642624

But we can say something officially today: WhatsApp Payments will support Rupiah, Real, Pound, Euro and Dollar currencies in the next months!
Seen that WhatsApp will support all those currencies, it’s likely there will be a lot of new countries where WhatsApp is going to enable the feature.
There will be an invitation system for these currencies too, as happens for UPI in India, and probably WhatsApp is going to discuss about this announcement in the conference.

GROUP PRIVACY SETTINGS

WhatsApp has recently published an announcement about New Privacy Settings for Groups.
They mentioned in the blog post “These new privacy settings will begin rolling out to some users starting today and will be available worldwide in the coming weeks to those using the latest version of WhatsApp.”
Is the conference the right time to enable the feature for everyone?
A few days ago, they have enabled the feature for the Android Business beta app, so it’s very possible that they will roll out the feature faster.

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