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5 min read 140 comments

WhatsApp latest update: group descriptions added to beta

We're always keeping an eye out for the latest WhatsApp update news and features. In this article, we'll show you where to download the latest version of WhatsApp via Play Store and APK file and tell you about the new features each update brings. The latest news is for those of you who use the group chat feature, as WhatsApp is rolling out a group description feature to its beta versions.

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How do I update WhatsApp?

The easiest way to update WhatsApp is through the Play Store, where updates will work their way to you automatically. Make sure it's not waiting for an update by opening the Play Store, pressing on the trio of lines in the top left to open the menu. There, select My apps & games and see if it's listed at the top of the screen.

How to download the WhatsApp APK

If you want to update to the new version of WhatsApp manually, you can download the latest version of WhatsApp by visiting the WhatsApp update download page, or you can download the WhatsApp APK through APK Mirror, where the latest version is always uploaded (including beta builds).

The newest available beta APK is WhatsApp Messenger 2.18.57, and can be found at the link below.

How to install WhatsApp APK

To install an APK, make sure you head into Settings > Security > Unknown sources and ensure the toggle is on. Then, press on the downloaded APK file and follow the instructions to install. It's that easy.

For a more detailed explanation of what APKs are and what to do with them, take a look at our dedicated page. If you ever encounter problems with the APK, you may still be able to download an older version of the WhatsApp APK, which may solve the issues or bugs you encounter.

How to become a beta tester

In 2016, WhatsApp launched its beta program, enabling you decide whether you would like to receive updates including new app-testing features. Obviously, when dealing with versions that are still in the development stage, you may find bugs and malfunctions. But at the same time, you'll be the first to try out and evaluate the options that developers intend to implement on WhatsApp. 

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, you can follow this link to become part of WhatsApp's beta testing program.

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What's new on the beta version?

Available for download, Version 2.18.54 gives an extra feature to those using WhatsApp groups. The new addition, called Group Description, allows you to add descriptive text to the group chat that all members can view, which is located at the top of the Group Info Section. This is also publicly visible if somebody has shared the link to others outside of your contact list. Unless the administrator restricts access, participants can also edit the description text.

This new feature is of course not a drastic change that will affect the functionality of the app, but it is a small detail that some of you might use. The steps you need to take to add a group description text is straightforward: 

  • Open your WhatsApp group
  • Click on the group name
  • Click on Add group description

Now, the description will appear as a message in the chat window, and all participants will be able to view it, as well as new contacts that are invited.

groupchat description
After following the steps, WhatsApp opens a window allowing you to add the description / © AndroidPIT

The latest released features in the official version

Version 2.17.351: Sharing your location in realtime

WhatsApp has released a feature allowing you to share your location. This new option has arrived on both Android and iOS and allows you to let your friends and relatives know where you are; perfect if you want to let somebody know where to meet you, or how long it will take you to get home, for example. 

Protected by end-to-end encryption, this feature can be activated directly from the chat by clicking on the attachments icon and selecting the Share current location in the location option menu. What's great about this feature is if members of a group chat share their location, they will all be shown on the same map. You can also decide how long you want to share your location for.

whatsapp live location
Sharing your location in real-time via WhatsApp / © WhatsApp

What's coming to WhatsApp

In-app YouTube support

WhatsApp has developed a new feature which allows users to play YouTube videos from within the app. Instead of having to switch to another app like Chrome or YouTube to watch a video, users can now watch YouTube videos straight from the chat where they were sent.

Of course, full screen mode is also possible. As of now, the feature is rolling out to iOS users as version 2.18.11 in the App Store. Sadly, Android users aren't as lucky yet. There's no indication of when the feature might make its way to Android, but we will update you as soon as we hear news.

Camera Night Mode

WhatsApp has added a Night Mode for the camera within the iOS app, so it's expected that this feature will arrive on its Android counterpart soon. To help users shoot better photos in the dark, the option to turn on Night Mode appears when a low light environment is detected.

The Night Mode icon appears in the top right corner as a white moon, and after you tap to activate it, it turns yellow. This update is a welcome addition to WhatsApp's comparatively simple in-app camera.

whatsapp night mode ios
Turning on Night Mode brightens up the environment. / © AndroidPIT

What new feature would you like to see in WhatsApp?



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  • ankit 2 months ago Link to comment

    good news for whatsapp user and good article which describe all new feature in very easy steps.



  • Download and install WhatsApp new version to enjoy all the new features. This is the most important instant messaging application of today


  • I purchased a new mobile and installed whatsapp in that. The phone however, developed some problem and after my insistence a new phone was given to me. When I tried to reinstall whatsapp in the new phone, I am asked to key in the 6 digit pin I had created created earlier. Unfortunately I do not remember the pin number I had earlier created. How to reinstall whatsapp now? My sim card (phone number) number is not changed.

  • Marco A. 8 months ago Link to comment

    Updates for whatsapp

    Guide to update whatsapp beta fast and simple

  • can anyone please tell me, what's up with the blue ticks in Whatsapp... It's been two days now, it's not showing the blue ticks which is very disturbing. You cannot see whether the other person read the message or not. :(

  • Cool

  • Useful

  • Ay ay ay....the statues s*** really sucks whoever runs whatspp....are the Kardashians in-charge of the app now...because the new update was a stupid move....now i would rather send a dove that this stupid stuff.....whatsapp ppl, seriously, the new statues are complete and utter S***, disappointed

  • Helen C. Apr 14, 2017 Link to comment

    really good app...helpful

  • I would love to see WhatsApp give users the choice of their emoji skins... I hate the iOS emoji, and WhatsApp near clone/rip offs of them. This is one of the main things that stopped me using it for so long, if I wanted iOS elements on my phone, I'd downgrade to an i7+.
    Good to see some cooperation between Facebook and Google devs, though.

  • My thoughts exactly.......No contact list, bring it back in your next update

  • I didn't like the new whatsapp update.
    Please restore to the old version.

    •   24
      Deactivated Account Mar 17, 2017 Link to comment

      you can always try and download the APK of an older version right?


  • Tinashe Mar 2, 2017 Link to comment

    Good day. I really enjoy using whatsapp. The new status feature is okay but please give us the option of writing a text status also, like the way it was. Putting up pics & videos as a status is cool, but I would prefer to have the option of writing text statuses also. I think most whatsapp users agree with me.

  • I don't like new whats app status feature , its not user freindly. old one is much better for status update. Update version of status is complicated as status not reflecting in individual profile ,also we need to check specifically.
    set status is not last for the long, its gone after 3/4 days. Another thing we need to update photo compulsory to write a status. All are disadavantage.
    Request to change as earlier one . Old is gold.

  • This new update is too much bad ..there is no contact list and proper status and un necessary thing has been added .. the old version was good .. All my friends said that the old version was good.. please get it back to the old version

  • L Bod Feb 25, 2017 Link to comment

    Please put our contact list back!

  • Good day. I really enjoy using whatsapp. The new status feature is okay but please give us the option of writing a text status also, like the way it was. Putting up pics & videos as a status is cool, but I would prefer to have the option of writing text statuses also. I think most whatsapp users agree with me.

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