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WhatsApp is Tweaking its Android UI With a Bottom Navigation Bar

Still in the beta program, WhatsApp is making some changes to the UI of the Android app by implementing a bottom navigation bar.

WhatsApp is reportedly working on another new feature for the app, according to WABetaInfo, the company is making some changes to the user interface of the Android app by implementing a bottom navigation bar. The feature is one of the many that the Meta-owned social messaging platform is currently working on. Other features that could roll out in the coming updates include but are not limited to self-destructing audio messages, expiring groups, locked chats, and newsletters.

As for the bottom navigation bar, WhatsApp users have been requesting a redesign of the WhatsApp interface for some time, as they felt that the current interface is outdated and not as user-friendly as it could be after the recent updates of Android.

The bottom navigation bar under development as seen in the beta test as well as shared screenshots by WABetaInfo is similar to that of iOS’s version however this comprises four options including Chats, Communities, Status, and Calls.

The bottom navigation bar is expected to make it easier for users to navigate between the different sections of the app as they would be easily accessible from the bottom of the screen.

While this update could be welcomed by many, some seem not to like it at all. WABetaInfo reported that although the bottom navigation bar is good news, they have noticed that some users would like the new interface to be optional, so that it can be activated in the app settings, and that would still be possible to switch between sections through a gesture.

The feature is still being rolled out through the Google Play Beta Program as part of version 2.23.8.4 and once stabilized it will be available in the future update of the messaging platform.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp is also currently working on another update that will give users the ability to lock chats. The feature will enable users to lock specific chats with a passcode or a fingerprint giving them an extra level of privacy.

When a user locks a chat, it is listed within the “Locked chats” section, and its entry point will be located within the chat list.

This update also supports media privacy since any media files, such as photos and videos, shared in a locked chat are not automatically saved to the other person’s device.

All these WhatsApp features are currently under development and will be made available in future updates of the app. While we don’t know the specific date they will be rolled out, we will update you once they are officially out.

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Winnie Nantongo

Winnie is a tech reporter with a passion for digital media & communications.
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