WhatsApp has begun rolling out a change to the app’s interface on Android, that will make it much easier to use the popular chat application with one hand. The company first introduced a bottom-tabbed design to beta testers of its Android app earlier this year — the iOS version of the app already has tabs at the bottom — and the modified interface is now rolling out to users on the stable update channel. WhatsApp also recently started testing a redesigned interface for iOS and Android with new colours and accents on the beta version of the app.
After updating to WhatsApp for Android 188.8.131.52 via the Google Play store, the new bottom-tabbed interface has rolled out to multiple Gadgets 360 staff members on Monday, while many others can still see the original navigation bar at the top that allows you to switch between the Chats, Calls, and Status tabs, along with a smaller tab with the Communities icon on the left. WhatsApp first introduced the relocated tab to beta testers back in May.
The bottom tab interface on WhatsApp features four tabs — Chats, Updates, Communities, and Calls. These tabs also include icons — these were previously unavailable when the tabs were located at the top of the screen. The most notable improvement of the new navigation system is that users can now easily switch to different tabs while using the phone with one hand.
However, the latest update that adds the bottom tab interface also prevents users from swiping across tabs — the older design that featured the tabs at the top of the interface allowed users to slide their finger across the chat list towards the tab they wanted to switch to. With the bottom-tab interface, it appears that users will have to tap to switch tabs instead of swiping.
Last week, WhatsApp started rolling out other subtle changes to the interface for users on the beta channel. Gadgets 360 was able to confirm that the iconic green bar at the top of the app on Android has been removed, in favour of an all-white interface, in light mode, which in turn allows the whole app to appear dark grey when dark mode is enabled.
WhatsApp has also tweaked some of the colour accents on the recent beta release for Android, making the green colours slightly brighter and more vivid, especially when dark mode is turned on. The app’s ‘solid’ icons were recently replaced with ‘outline’ icons for voice and video calls inside individual chats, as well as the camera icon on the main chat list.