While Microsoft may be moving away from Universal Windows Apps
by incorporating WinUI and UWP APIs into Win32 apps, Facebook
isn’t quitting on it just yet. Last year, Meta-owned Facebook
released a new UWP client for WhatsApp on Windows 10 and
Windows 11 in beta, and it’s updated on a regular basis with a
WhatsApp UWP is simply called ‘WhatsApp Beta’ and it is
separate from the web-based WhatsApp Desktop that you can
already download from the company’s website or Microsoft Store.
Unlike ‘WhatsApp Desktop’ which is a web wrapper with support
for notifications and Start menu, the UWP app is written from
scratch and it uses XAML with WinUI. It also comes with
multi-device support (up to 4), which means it works well even
when your phone is not connected to the internet.
The cleaner app design seems to be inspired by Windows Phone’s
WhatsApp, but it is more in line with Microsoft’s WinUI
principles and the web version of WhatsApp. The new design
includes an updated header, acrylic effect in the menu, support
for inking, a new settings menu, and more.
WhatsApp UWP beta has received yet another update with support
for a new feature called ‘Chat filters’. As the name suggests,
this feature filters your conversation, so you can force the
app to only show messages from contacts, non-contacts, groups
or just unread chats.
As you can probably guess, the contacts filter will only show
messages from those who are in your WhatsApp contact. Likewise,
non-contacts will surface messages from those who are not on
the contact list, and it’s particularly useful for business
users. The other two filters – groups and unread – are also
Facebook is rolling out the new Chat filter feature with
WhatsApp Beta 2.2216.4.0, which is the latest version in the
Microsoft Store. You can go to the Microsoft Store’s Downloads
section and update the app to the latest version.
If you’re not using the UWP app, you can always
install it from the Microsoft Store as it is an open beta.
In addition to chat filters, Facebook is also believed to be
reactions for WhatsApp UWP.
This is not a new idea as the ability to react was first added
to Facebook and later Messenger. Like Messenger reactions, the
WhatsApp reactions feature aims to make conversations more
meaningful and less cluttered by reducing emojis sent in the