WhatsApp needs to look ahead!

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I decided to write this article to post our wishlist, in order to improve WhatsApp. I say “our wishlist” because we’re a great community and we feel the same needs. It’s 2021 and WhatsApp needs to look forward, listening to the user feedback.

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Common questions Answers
Topic about? Look ahead!
Article for? WhatsApp for iOS and Android
Previous news? WhatsApp is making it easier to search for stickers
LOOK AHEAD

WABetaInfo has been around for a long time. I communicate with my followers every day and I know what they would like to see in WhatsApp: technology moves on and our needs too. I am myself a WhatsApp user and sometimes I notice there is something missing to define WhatsApp as a complete app.
Considering the feedback received in my Discord server, your suggestions on Twitter and my experience and opinions, I’ve elaborated a list of features that should really make WhatsApp better.

High quality photos
When we send a photo, WhatsApp applies different algorithms to compress it. If it’s like a document, so the image contains sentences, the compression will be very light (25%) because the user has to properly read them, otherwise the photo will be compressed at 50%.
Photos sent to your status updates are compressed at 80%, because the recipient might receive a lot of status updates and, according to WhatsApp, it’s better to compress them to save space on the device (seen that these images will expire after 24 hours there is no need to send them in original quality).
WhatsApp also compresses photos for another reason: to avoid large chat backups.
WhatsApp allows to send a photo as a document to preserve its quality, but the process is very complicated, at least on WhatsApp for iOS: if you want to send a photo preserving its quality, you have to upload it on iCloud Drive, and finally you can pick it from WhatsApp.
An option to pick images as documents directly from the library would be awesome.

Online status
Sometimes you want to chat with someone quietly, but you could be disturbed by another contact, and you might be forced to reply simply because you’re online. A toggle to modify this behavior would be useful:

Ignore auto-download from muted chats
If your auto-download settings are set on “Wi-Fi” or “Wi-Fi and Cellular”, WhatsApp obviously starts to auto-download media. The problem arises with group chats. If you have several useless group chats, I bet you have disabled auto-download settings. Auto-download settings is a very useful feature and normally a user should never disable a feature because it has some flaws.
A new option like this one would fix the problem:

Improved Privacy Settings
WhatsApp has introduced privacy settings 5 years ago and, since that time, they have never been improved. “Everyone”, “My contacts” and “Nobody” are no longer enough, because they could implement a new option called “Nobody except…”.

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Search by date
WhatsApp was developing a Search message by date option, but it’s under development since 3/4 years and it seems they really forgot it was a thing.

Remove waiting time
It’s very important to remove all waiting time in the app, that prevent to do something else, for example to open a different chat.
Probably you know what I’m talking about: voice messages and videos.
If you receive a voice message that is 2 minutes long, you cannot switch to a different chat, otherwise WhatsApp stops playing it.
The same issue happens when you receive a video: there is no picture in picture, forcing you to pause it if you want to reply to a message received in a different chat (or the same chat too).

Old Storage Usage
WhatsApp had a very useful feature: Storage Usage. Using Storage Usage, you could check for the total number of messages and media shared in a chat, and you could delete a specific type of message. This was very important because in some chats, in particular in groups, we receive a lot of useless images, GIFs, voice messages and stickers. Storage Usage allowed to delete a specific media type quickly.
“Storage Usage” has been replaced by “Manage Storage”, but it is likely a functional regression, because you can only manage images and videos now. A lot of users have requested to get the feature back, but it’s not a thing yet.
I’ve created this concept to restore back Storage Usage: give it a look!

Media details
It would be useful to know the real size of media, without opening the file manager on WhatsApp for Android (just think that on WhatsApp for iOS it’s not even possible):

A way to manage stickers
Sometimes it’s very complicated to find a sticker from your sticker library, if you have a lot of sticker packs or favorite stickers. Yesterday I’ve published an article where I explain that WhatsApp is working to make it easier to search for stickers, but it’s not enough.
WhatsApp should allow us to manipulate stickers, in order to edit their metadata so we can add emojis, useful to quickly search for them, or the possibility to create sticker packs within WhatsApp, so we can manage all favorite stickers better.

Chat tabs
We have a lot of chats, and it would be amazing to manage them in a specific space… or tab.
I’ve created a new concept that shows Chat Tabs, a useful tool to quickly group the same type of chat in the same tab!

These are just some features, but it really would be a step forward to introduce them. It must be said there have been several improvements in the last 2 years, and things get really interesting with the introduction of multi device in a future update.

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