Group chats in WhatsApp are used for all sort of things, from giving ways for distant members of the family to keep in touch, to helping people in real-world clubs and groups to contact each other easily. While the ability to chat, send photos, have video calls and so on are great, what has been lacking is the ability to create polls.
But this is set to change. If you've been looking for an easy way to see which restaurant you and your friends should go to, a way to vote on which design is best for your company logo, or countless other things, group chats in WhatsApp look like they are going to be gaining the long-missing polling option.
Spotted in the iOS version of the WhatsApp app by the ever-reliable WABetaInfo, we can see glimpses of a rudimentary poll creation interface that can be used to pose a question to member of a group chat. At this stage it's not clear quite how polls will look, or how customizable they will be, but we do know that they will be end-to-end encrypted.
Not for the first time, WhatsApp finds itself playing catch-up here. As welcome as the impending arrival of polls is, it is something that rival messaging apps have offered for quite some time. This does not, however, detract from the usefulness of the feature in any way, and it is something that it sure to prove popular and will be well-used whenever it does finally roll out.
While at the moment, the poll option is only visible in the beta version of the WhatsApp app for iOS, it would be quite surprising if the very same option did not also make its way to Android. That said, WhatsApp is no stranger to giving iOS and Android users the same options at different times.
And speaking of staggered rollouts, it seems that Android users could be in line to gain access to a WhatApp feature that is already available to iOS users. In the redesigned drawing editor, iOS users have been able to use a blur tool to obscure private information in photos, making sensitive data unintelligible
WABetaInfo has spotted the same tool popping up in beta versions of the Android app, bringing the two platforms closer together in terms of features. For both this bur tool and the up-coming polling option, there is no hint about when the rollout is planned, so it is just a case of waiting patiently for WhatsApp to continue development and then flip the necessary switch.
- Check out our guide to the best Android apps