WhatsApp for Windows 11 is making emoji even easier to use

It would be fair to say that it is the mobile versions of WhatsApp that tend to get the most love and receive new and exciting features fastest. But that is not to say that the web and desktop versions are ignored; far from it.

An excellent case in point in the brand-new update that's currently rolling out to users of the Windows 11 and Windows 10 version of WhatsApp who are signed up to take part in the beta program, and introduces exciting new emoji-related features.

At the moment, you will be familiar with the process of inserting emoji in your message by making use of the emoji picker. This is somewhat different to when you're using WhatsApp on your mobile, where you can switch to an emoji keyboard and also easily access frequently used emoji.

But with this latest update, there is a new option at your disposal: emoji shortcuts. This is very much what it sound like – a quick and easy way to insert emoji that should enable you to compose messages faster than ever. And for anyone who is a touch typist, it will come as a real boon.

Accelerated emoji insertion

The shortcut works when you type a colon followed by a few letters. For instance, type: hello, and a pop-up emoji selection bar will give you the option of quickly selecting the waving hand emoji to insert. As with all forms of auto-complete/text suggestion, you do not have to type a full emoji name in order for it to appear; as soon as you type the letter h, WhatsApp will show you the matching emoji it thinks you might want to use.

If all of this sound familiar, it could well be because you have used the web version of WhatsApp where the feature has been available for a while already. The arrival of this feature in the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app helps to bring about platform democracy, and reduces the number of differences you'll see when switching between WhatsApp on different platforms.

To enjoy the new feature, you need to be taking part in the WhatsApp beta testing program, and also ensure that you are fully update. Make sure that you have version 2.2206.1.0 of the Universal Windows Platform app installed, and you should be good to go!

Via WABetaInfo

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Microsoft Teams emoji are about to get more annoying than ever

If you've ever felt that you just can't express yourself enough on a Microsoft Teams call, then a new update coming to the platform could well be the answer.

The video conferencing service is set to introduce a new way to react to messages that will let you show exactly how you feel using emojis.

According to the official entry in the Microsoft 365 roadmap, the new “Microsoft Teams Expanded Reactions” feature will “allow users to apply any emoji as a reaction to chat messages”.

Over reaction?

Microsoft says that users will be able to pick from over 800 emojis “to react the way you want”, with reactions show in the chat window.

The feature is currently listed as “in development”, with an expected release date of March 2022. The company notes that, when released, the feature will be available to Microsoft Teams users across the world, and includes web, desktop, Android and iOS users. 

It will be the latest in a long series of additions and upgrades to Microsoft Teams as the company looks to continue helping users around the world enjoy hybrid working.

This isn't the first time that emojis within Microsoft Teams have been mentioned either, as a new selection of images were released by the company as part of the launch of Windows 11. The new 'Fluent Design' look did cause concern among some users following the release of some of the new emojis, with users mocking their unclear depictions and puzzling looks.

While Fluent design is now available for Windows 11 and Office 2022, as well as key apps such as Paint and Calendar, it is still yet to appear in Teams, with Microsoft only saying that the new designs will arrive in February 2022 alongside live transcripts of calls, better meeting options, and other features.

However there were raised eyebrows across the technology world in November 2021 when Microsoft revealed that its infamous Clippy mascot was coming to Teams as part of a Retro Sticker Pack.

Recent data collected by software firm StarLeaf found almost all (97%) businesses say that tools such as ZoomWebex and Teams are now essential to their operations.

More than half (57%) of the 2,000 UK-based respondents claim their company would not be able to operate for more than an hour without access to their communications tools, while 27% admitted they would struggle to function for even 30 minutes.

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Windows 11’s new emoji – including Clippy – won’t be coming to Windows 10

Windows 11 has just got some nifty looking new emoji, as you may recall, which are Fluent-style and modern-looking affairs – but these won’t be coming to Windows 10.

They landed earlier this week as part of a preview update for Windows 11, so are officially still only in testing even on that OS, although Microsoft will send them fully live for Windows 11 in December (on Patch Tuesday, which will be December 14).

The emoji – which include the paperclip being replaced by Clippy, the iconic assistant who pestered, er, we mean helped us in Word back in the day – will not arrive in Windows 10, or at least that appears to be Microsoft’s plan as reported by Windows Latest.

The tech site claims that Microsoft has no intention of drafting the modern emoji over to Windows 10, and that they will remain exclusive to Windows 11, at least for the time being anyway. Windows Latest does further observe that Microsoft might change its mind in the future, though.

Analysis: Emoji aren’t high on most folks’ Windows 10 wish-lists

Of course, many Windows 10 users will say that they won’t especially be losing much sleep over the lack of refreshed emoji, and that’s a fair point. They aren’t a huge deal, and not a reason anyone would be upgrading to Windows 11, that’s for sure.

That said, they are nice to have, and it wouldn’t be much of an effort to pipe them over to Windows 10. Maybe Microsoft feels that they’d stick out a bit as odd, as the old operating system hasn’t had the benefit of the Fluent Design-style makeover that Windows 11 arrived with.

Whatever the reasoning right now, we could see them ported over eventually, as the report observes. In the meantime, Windows 10 users will just have to stick with their tired old vanilla emoji.

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