WhatsApp is shrinking and growing different interface elements

(Image credit: DenPhotos / Shutterstock.com)

The beta versions of most apps, but particularly WhatsApp, tend to focus on new features, or tweaking existing ones. Being involved in the beta programs is a way to try out these features before they go on general release, but sometimes there are changes introduced that are more about aesthetics.

Which is why this is precisely what's happening with the latest betas of WhatsApp for both iOS and Android. Minor visual changes have been made to the user interface, but the impact they have might be greater than you first think.

The changes see some interface elements of the app growing in size and others shrinking. One recent changes in beta builds of the app saw the removal of line separators between chats. This visual tweak is something that will be loved and hated in equal measure, but it has not rolled out to everyone yet. It is not clear whether this will be a setting that can be changed, or if everyone will lose the line at some point.

But for any tester for whom the line separator has disappeared, there has been another change. With the line removed, WhatsApp has also shrunk the size of pf profile pictures in the chat list. Again, this is a very minor change, but this time around it does mean that there is a tiny bit more space on the screen.

One size up, one size down

So, separating lines may be vanishing and profiles pictures shrinking, but WhatsApp is also increasing the size of link previews in messages. You can see the updated look in this tweet from WABetaInfo.

This is arguably, a much more useful change. While not all websites support larger previews – in which case WhatsApp will revert to using a smaller thumbnail. The size increase can be seen in both the iOS and Android versions of the app, and the magnification and increased quality helps to make previews more informative to the point that you may not even need to click through to visit a website – but it also just looks nicer.

Via WABetaInfo

Sofia Elizabella Wyciślik-Wilson
Freelance writer

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 25 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fueled by technology, music and nature.

Having written for websites and magazines since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.

Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy. Her other loves include walking, music, her two Malamutes and, of course, her wife and daughter.

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