WhatsApp is rolling out a feature that will prevent media from being automatically saved to the smartphone’s gallery or Camera Roll, when disappearing messages are enabled in a chat. The encrypted messaging service will still allow users to manually save media sent in disappearing chats. The company has also been spotted working on new image editing tools on the latest beta version of its iOS app — with the addition of two new pencil tools to annotate or markup images before sending them on WhatsApp.
The Meta-owned messaging service has begun rolling out a change to the way media is saved on disappearing chats, as spotted by WhatsApp features tracker WABetaInfo. Users on the latest versions of WhatsApp for Android and iOS will now see a message explaining that the “media visibility” feature has been turned off for chats with disappearing messages enabled. The feature was first spotted in development in February.
WhatsApp’s disappearing messages feature is designed to remove messages from both the sender and recipient’s smartphones after a set period, and users can choose among three options for disappearing chats — 24 hours, 7 days, and 90 days. Messages, images, videos, GIFs, and other attachments sent in disappearing chats are automatically deleted, and the latest update now disables the feature to automatically save all media sent in disappearing chats.
When users tap on the media visibility setting in disappearing chats, WhatsApp now shows a popup notification that informs users that messages in the chat are set to disappear. “For privacy reasons, media is not auto-saved to your phone’s gallery. To save media from this chat, turn off disappearing messages,” the notification says. Gadgets 360 was able to confirm that the feature was disabled in chats where disappearing messages were enabled, on the latest versions of WhatsApp for Android and iOS.
Users will still be able to select individual images and save them to their Camera Roll on iOS, while Android users on some versions of WhatsApp will also be able to manually save media, according to the feature tracker. Gadgets 360 was able to manually save images from WhatsApp chats with disappearing messages enabled on the latest Android and iOS apps.
Meanwhile, the latest WhatsApp for iOS beta version has begun testing a redesigned media editor for some users — this is also expected to arrive in a future WhatsApp for Android beta build, according to the feature tracker. The update adds two new pencil drawing tools, located at the bottom of the screen. A blur tool has also been added to the bottom of the media editor, near the new drawing tools. These changes are only visible to some users on the latest beta version of WhatsApp for iOS and could be rolled out to all users at a later date.