Cross-platform messaging app WhatsApp has begun rolling out a new search experience for select users running the beta version of the app on Android. The advanced search feature was spotted early in April and was still under development back then. However, WABetaInfo now confirms that the feature is rolling out to more beta testers.
As the name suggests, the feature lets users search for more than just text in messages by providing search tags for the type of messages, right from the global search option. For example, users can look for photos, audio, links, GIFs, and more across all conversations. The ability to zero in on file types will be a welcome addition for those that use the service extensively, especially in markets such as India and Brazil where the communication solution is widely used.
The change seems to be a server-side switch, so not all testers will be able to see the feature right away. It must be noted that users must be on WhatsApp Beta version 18.104.22.168 or newer to be able to receive the advanced search option. The publication reports that reinstalling the app enables the feature for some, but since it is a staggered rollout, it could be a while before all beta users receive the new search function.
The advanced search feature supposedly also began rolling out to beta testers on iOS some time ago. Considering the increasing pace of rollouts, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the feature make it to all users sooner rather than later.