WhatsApp Updates April 2024: App Navigation, Screen Sharing, Authentication

At a glance:

  • Redesigned app navigation for easier access
  • Screen sharing feature for video calls
  • Locked chats authentication on all linked devices

WhatsApp has announced new updates rolling out this month focused on usability, video calls, and account security.

The navigation menu within the app is receiving a redesigned structure for improved quick access to key features directly from the home screen. A new screen-sharing feature is also being introduced for WhatsApp video calls.

Additionally, the locked chats feature now allows protected conversations to be accessed on linked devices through verification with a unique PIN code, beyond only the primary device.

What’s New on WhatsApp?

These are the newest features on WhatsApp

1. Redesigned Navigation 

The side navigation menu has received a complete reorganization for quicker access to key areas of the app. Chats, Updates, and Communities now appear at the bottom for more convenient visibility and interaction. 

An additional shortcut for accessing calls faster has also been added at the bottom menu. The redesigned structure aims to reduce taps and make commonly used options more prominent directly from the home screen.

Image: Screenshot of the updated navigation menu. Source: WABetaInfo

2. Screen Sharing in Video Calls 

A new screen-sharing feature has been added to WhatsApp video calls. This allows you to collaboratively view photos, and documents, or browse websites together during calls.

On Android, you simply need to tap the screen sharing button and select the desired window or app to share. The procedure for screen sharing is the same for almost all operating systems. 

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The shared content will display picture-in-picture so callers can still see each other during the session. Screen sharing opens up possibilities like remote collaboration on projects, tutorials, or making joint travel plans directly from a call.

Image: Screenshot of the screen-sharing session. Source: WABetaInfo

3. Locked Chats Access on Linked Devices

In the previous update WhatsApp enhanced the privacy of locked chats with the new update. However, they can only be accessed on your primary device.

In the new update, they can now be accessed on linked devices. When accessing locked chats on a linked device, you now only need to enter your PIN and you will be let in.

By inputting the personalized PIN, locked threads that were previously confined to one device can now be discreetly viewed across your laptops, tablets, or other linked platforms. This provides added convenience without compromising the privacy of protected discussions.

The locked chats function seamlessly synchronizes encrypted content between primary and linked devices through the use of a user-generated PIN. It aims to improve the overall WhatsApp experience by keeping sensitive exchanges discreet everywhere you access your accounts.

Image: Screenshot of two-step authentication setup. Source: WABetaInfo

Reported Bugs After Update

  • Verification code not received: A few users mentioned facing problems receiving the one-time PIN code needed to verify their identity on WhatsApp.
  • Difficulty leaving communities: In previous updates, once a user exited a community chat, they were unable to delete it from their chat list. This was not fixed in this new update.
  • Dislike of the bottom navigation bar: Several reviewers strongly dislike the redesigned bottom navigation structure, finding it inconvenient and difficult to use compared to the previous version.
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