With the recent beta update, WhatsApp has received a slew of new features that will make your experience even better. WhatsApp 2.17.280 beta update was released today itself for the people who want to try out the upcoming features. The feature set for the update includes launcher app shortcuts that was a much-awaited feature.

Image Credit: Android Police.

The launcher app shortcuts didn’t make its way to the beta WhatsApp app in the 2.17.280 version but was already available since some of the previous releases. The feature was first spotted by some of the Reddit users and the first report on this came from Android Police.

After 3D touch was introduced in the iPhone, one of the many capabilities added to iOS was the ability to show an additional set of shortcuts on the home screen itself when the user hard pressed an app icon. It worked more or less like a long press that we all have been used to and Android implemented a version of it in the recent version of Nougat.

Even the users who don’t have the latest version of Android can make use of this feature using third party launchers like Nova. In the latest beta update, WhatsApp has enabled the feature that will allow the users in Android 7.0 Nougat and 6.0 Marshmallow to make use of app shortcuts. Being still in beta stage, it is still full of bugs and has a few of its own problems.

When you will long press on the WhatsApp icon with the 2.17.280 beta installed, you will see a small menu that offers options that aren’t much used. Like the shortcut has ‘New Chat’ option which isn’t a thing that you’d do frequently and need a dedicated shortcut for, neither the menu shows the people you frequently chat with, instead a contact is shown that you rarely interact with. As mentioned earlier, the feature is half baked and will take some more time to be finally available in the final build.

This is the major feature that surfaced recently. Apart from this, the changelog on APK Mirror a few features that we have already seen in the near past. Like the app’s ability to send documents of any type, emoji search, and other tiny features.

WhatsApp 2.17.280 APK is available for download from APK Mirror that would upgrade your existing app itself. You can also go for the official channel by opting for the beta program from the Google Play Store. But downloading the APK is much easier and completely safe if you’re wondering.

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Download WhatsApp 2.17.280 APK from here.