As we patiently await an update to make WhatsApp support native display sizes of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the tremendously popular Facebook-owned messaging service on Wednesday enabled a new check mark in the chat UI indicating that the recipient has read your message.
Now when you’re chatting with someone, pay attention to read receipts in the form of blue check marks, as discovered by designer, Dutch translator at Twitter and jailbreak developer Timon Olsthoorn (and many others on Twitter).
This is an over-the-air update so those with WhatsApp installed on their iPhone can start using this feature immediately, without the need to update the app manually.
WhatsApp, which has more than 600 million active users, is free in the App Store.
The blue indicator is in addition to a pair of grey check marks which denote that the message has been successfully sent (single check mark) and successfully delivered to the recipient’s phone (double check mark).
WhatsApp’s online FAQ confirms Timon’s discovery.
“If you see two blue check marks next to your sent message, then the recipient has read your message,” reads the FAQ.
The new blue indicator appears in group chats, too.
“The two blue check marks will appear when all participants in the group have read your message,” the FAQ explains. Again, the check marks will turn blue when every participant in a group chat or broadcast message has read your message.
To check out who has seen your message and when, go to the Message Info screen by opening a chat with a contact or a group and swiping your message from right to left.
You can also tap and hold on your sent message and choose Info from the menu. The Message Info screen shows the following items:
- Delivered when your media is delivered to your recipient’s phone, but the recipient has not yet seen it.
- Read or Seen when the recipient has read your message or seen your picture, audio file, or video. For a Voice Message, the recipient has seen but has not yet played it.
- Played when the recipient has played your Voice Message.
If someone has left a group chat, the Message Info screen will still show the original information with all participants, including the participant who left the group.
The app received its last newsworthy refresh a month ago, introducing a fast camera access button, location-sharing features, new wallpapers and notification tones, additional media auto-download preferences and useful options to archive chats and groups, add captions to media and share Slow-Mo videos.
As for the much-anticipated voice calling feature which WhatsApp promised would come during the first half of 2014, it’s now been delayed into early 2015 as the team needs additional time to work out the kinks.
According to WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum, they have “no real immediate plans to make money at WhatsApp” or bring advertising into the app.
Folks with a jailbroken iOS 7 device may be interested in trying out the new Message Scheduler jailbreak tweak by Mohamed Marbouh which lets you schedule WhatsApp message delivery at a specific time, as illustrated above.
Currently sitting at version 2.11.12, WhatsApp Messenger is available at no cost in the App Store.
[Timon on Twitter]