Sacramento: WhatsApp is testing a new feature that could make life less painful when changing your contact number. As your WhatsApp is often tied with your phone number, it is always a pain to let users known that you have changed your number, and you end up either sending a broadcast to all your contacts informing them about the change, or just let users know in due time.
WhatsApp is trying to ease this transition, and is testing a feature that will notify your friends and family about your number change for you. Separately, it appears the Live Location sharing feature that was recently introduced by both Facebook and Google will make its way to WhatsApp soon.
The Change Number feature was found by WhatsApp beta tracker @WABetaInfo in beta version 2.17.130 for Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile users, and it enables you to notify all your contacts about the number change at once. The Change Number feature allows you to change your number on WhatsApp without losing your chats and group data, and also lets you notify users about the change.
There are three options you can choose for this feature – share the new number with all of your contacts, or only to those contacts you have chats with, or you can also decide not to pass out your new number to any of your contacts at all.
This feature will send notifications to all your groups automatically, regardless of which option you choose. Also, the ‘Change Number’ feature is disabled by default, so you must switch it on when changing your number. As mentioned, this welcome change is being tested on Windows for now, and you’ll have to be on the beta version to experience it.
It’s worth noting that while beta allows you to use new features before everyone else, there’s also a chance that it doesn’t work as optimally as the stable version. There’s no word on the feature’s commercial availability as of now, but now that it’s being tested, it should arrive on stable versions soon.
Coming to the Live Location sharing feature, @WABetaInfo claims that WhatsApp beta for Android v2.17.150 contains mention of the feature, however, it is disabled by default. Not much more is known about this currently, but should be a boon for users endeavouring to coordinate a rendezvous. Mentions of the feature first showed up in the betas for Android (v2.16.399) and iPhone (v22.214.171.124( back in January, which featured an option to turn location sharing on as a broadcast – enabling contacts to see each other on a map.6