WhatsApp is testing new launcher app shortcuts on its Android app. The new set of shortcuts will allow users to jump to their desired pre-defined location in no time. The new feature is available on Android 7.0 Nougat. However, users using Android 6.0 Marshmallow can access the feature by using launchers like Nova and Action. Interestingly, users can also add individual chats on to the home screens of their smartphones.
The pre-defined features include– Camera, Starred Messages and New Chat– which seem pretty redundant and random. To recall, earlier this year WhatsApp replaced its text status with disappearing image statuses. The camera icon can be used to capture and share images and statuses. However, given the frequency of the statuses shared, it seems highly unlikely that WhatsApp users will specifically use this feature to capture and share images and statues.
Next up is the new chat feature. Anyone who uses WhatsApp frequently knows that new chat is a feature that is scarcely used. We chat with a limited number of people and usually, they are on the top of our chat list. So, adding this feature to the launcher bar makes little sense.
Last up on the list is the starred messages. The feature essentially acts like a bookmark on the app. It remains unclear if the company is trying to highlight individual messages or pinned contacts.
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The good news is that the update is available only in the beta version of the app, which means that the company will have ample time to test and finalise the features before rolling it on to the main app.
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