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WhatsApp is never short of updates, something that it has been showcasing with the frequent releases of beta versions that brought along several goodies to the Facebook-owned chat app.

The developers are now done with rolling out beta versions and they feel it is now time for the entire 900 million user base of the app gets the latest features of the app. For beta versions, only those willing to part with some security restrictions could install it, but this also involves manual installation of the app’s APK file. Usually, beta or APK versions of WhatsApp are not available for free download via Google Play, but they are always available for download from the official site of the app.

The latest version of WhatsApp 2.12.367 is a stable version and it is now available to all users via the official Google Play Store. If you have been following the new features and updates available in some of the most recent WhatsApp APK versions, you will be happy to learn that the stable version now brings these updates to the Android platform.

Rich link previews, direct sharing on Android 6 M and starred messages

The latest version of this chat app now brings to life some amazing features to the general public. The aspect of enjoying rich link previews has been discussed severally here. The update means that when you share a link (URL) to the app, you will see a sneak preview (thumbnail image) of the link with a title to include in your share. In this way, it is easy to browse through shared links and get a picture of what the page is all about once it is received, even before you open it.

Another amazing addition is the starred messages. This tool will be very helpful when it comes to saving valuable messages so that they can be retrieved for later use; for instance, a contact to a nice restaurant. To ‘star’ a message, simply tap and hold on the desired message and then follow it by tapping on the star button that appears at the top. Repeat the same process to get rid of the star on a starred message.

To retrieve starred messages, check out the overflow menu from within the app and you will see all of them arranged in order with the name of the contact visible to ease the search process.

Users of the latest Android 6.0 M also have something to smile about as WhatsApp 2.12.367 also brings in Direct Share where you can quickly pick a contact to share content with, but it will probably be the last few people you chatted with. This is a lot better and faster than the process of first choosing WhatsApp and then searching for the contact you want to share the content with.

Now that all of these updates are live in the Google Play Store, every single person using WhatsApp will now be able to enjoy these goodies. The update is free to download and install for all users.