WhatsApp users just got this great upgrade on iPhone and Android

WhatsApp's upgrades continue with vastly improved features for group calls and smartphone switchers

WhatsApp app on iPhone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

WhatsApp has been making lots of useful improvements lately, and the newest free upgrade makes life a lot easier if you tend to use group calling often on your iPhone or Android phone. The official WhatsApp Twitter account posted details of there new features: you can mute others; you can message specific people; and you can see a banner to alert you when somebody new joins a group call.

The messaging feature is particularly useful, I think: we've all had those conversations where we want to let another person know something without telling the whole group chat. Just be careful if you decide to use it for mischief: I know from bitter personal experience that it's very easy to accidentally send a message taking the mickey out of someone to the person you're taking the mickey out of. Best double-check before you mock the boss in the next work WhatsApp.

That's not all WhatsApp has added: there are some new non-group features too.

What else is new in the WhatsApp app?

As Engadget reports (opens in new tab), WhatsApp is rolling out improved privacy controls for your Profile Photo, Last Seen, Status and About settings. Where previously you could block those options for everybody, nobody or just your contacts list there's a new "My Contacts Except" option that gives you more nuanced control.

The "Last Seen" status is well known as a privacy danger, because it enables contacts to tell when you last used the app even if you've turned read receipts off. You'll now be able to leave it on for most people but block it for anybody you're unsure of.

Last but not least, WhatsApp also has improvements for people jumping from Android to iOS: the app is now part of Apple's Move to iOS tool, albeit in beta format – so don't be too surprised if you encounter the odd bug.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).