WhatsApp has added launcher App Shortcuts for Android beta users, which will allow users to directly open a New Chat, Starred messages or in-app Camera. The feature is already live for Android beta users, though nothing official on when it will be available for all WhatsApp users.
Android Police spotted the WhatsApp App Shortcuts feature first, and the site put out screenshots of the new features. WhatsApp also allows these shortcuts to be dragged on home screen as separate shortcuts. The messaging app already enables creating shortcuts for independent chats, and camera on home screen, but for those who use WhatsApp regularly, would know that a new chat is not used much. Most of the time we tend to speak to people that are already on our chat screen. While, the option might prove to be useful for a lot of users, others might end up not using the shortcut at all.
The App Shortcuts feature was launched in Android 7.0 Nougat, but, users can access the feature on Android 6.0 Marshmallow as well by just using a compatible launcher like Nova and Action. Nova will also let users assign shortcuts to gestures like swiping the icon. These App Shortcuts can be dragged to become independent shortcuts on your home screen.
WhatsApp has over a billion daily active users on the app, which is used in over 60 languages. The platform recently added few new features to make it more useful and fun. WhatsApp for Android has made it easier for users to format text to Italics, Bold, Strikethrough, or Monospace simply by selecting the part that they want to format. GIF support, easy call forwarding, ability to share 30 photos and videos on one go, and more have also been added. In India, where the app has nearly 200 million users, it is said that the company is looking to add UPI-enabled in-app wallet as well.
If you want to try the new feature before release, download the latest WhatsApp beta for Android, sign up for the Android Beta Program on Google Play.