WhatsApp has a new update out for its iPhone users, bringing the version number to 2.18.80 for everyone. Officially, the big change is Siri’s newfound ability to send messages to groups. Unofficially, the app can now preview media in notifications so you won’t have to open the application to view them.
The always reliable WABetaInfo reports that the new Notification Extension feature is around in WhatsApp for iOS version 2.18.80, but it’s not visible on the user’s side. It seems the tool is not available yet for developmental reasons and still needs some polishing before its ready.
WhatsApp Notification Extension Features
Notification Extension basically allows you to see photos and GIFs directly in notifications. Till now, the pop-up just showed a generic photo or GIF logo and required you to open the app to view it. This won’t be necessary with the new feature. Moreover, you can even download the image if you’ve disabled automatic downloads.
To preview the photo/GIF, you’ll have to swipe down on notifications or use Apple’s Peek and Pop tool in iPhone 6S models and above. Notification Extension works with all iPhones running iOS 10 and above. As for the other big change, you can now ask Siri to send messages to both groups and individuals.
WhatsApp restricted Siri support to just one-on-one chats before, so this is a welcome new addition. The procedure is pretty much the same. Just activate Siri using the “Hey Siri” command or long-pressing the Home button and then ask the virtual assistant to send a message to a WhatsApp group.
Version 2.18.80 also introduces bug fixes and general stabilizations. It’ not clear when Notification Extension will roll out to Android phones. The beta build of the WhatsApp for Android app recently started rolling out a suspicious links tool to prevent people getting fooled by untrustworthy URLs.
You can download WhatsApp for iOS via the App Store.