WhatsApp has today updated with native screen resolution support for the iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR, in addition to a couple new features for all customers. You can find the new update, version 2.18.100, in the App Store for free.
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A month after the iPhone XS debut, WhatsApp now takes advantage of the full 2688×1242 resolution of the iPhone XS Max. This means you can see slightly more message bubbles at a time, and the keyboard sizing will now be consistent with other apps on the phone.
Un-updated iOS apps run scaled on iPhone XS Max, falling back to the iPhone X (and XS) metrics. The difference between a scaled and an optimized app is not gargantuan, but it is a noticeable improvement.
What’s nice for everyone that ordered an iPhone XR on Friday is that supporting the XS Max means that XR support comes along ‘for free’ from the developer’s perspective. The XR is the same logical resolution as the XS Max, just at @2x density rather than @3x. This means you see the same number of contacts in a list, the same amount of message content, etcetera, on the iPhone XR screen as you do on the iPhone XS Max.
Also new in this latest WhatsApp update is continuous play of new voice messages. When you get several voice messages in a row, all three play in succession without having to press play on each one. There is also a redesign of the quick actions when you long-press on a bubble, the new appearance looks more like a mini-popover.
It appears that WhatsApp is developing a Dark Mode. Whilst not available in the current public releases, WABetaInfo shared screenshots of the feature currently in development. Users will be able to opt into dark chrome, message lists and chat bubbles.