WhatsApp's unread message filters are rolling out to iPhone beta testers

WhatsApp message thread on iPhone X
WhatsApp message thread on iPhone X (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz/iMore)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp is testing an iPhone update that allows the filtering of unread messages.
  • The feature is being tested on iPhone and was already available to those testing the desktop app.

WhatsApp is working to bring unread message filtering to its apps and was already testing the feature with some users of its desktop app. Now, it's rolling out filtering to those who are using the latest WhatsApp app via TestFlight, too.

The feature will allow WhatsApp users to filter their long list of active chats, highlighting only those that have unread messages that are waiting to be dealt with. WABetaInfo now reports that TestFlight testers are seeing the feature be enabled for them, a move that suggests it's getting closer to a release to those of us using the App Store version of the popular messaging app.

Screenshot showing WhatsApp filtering

Screenshot showing WhatsApp filtering (Image credit: WABetaInfo)

As you can see in this screenshot, WhatsApp is now introducing a new filter button placed next to the search bar, and it looks very similar to the one implemented on WhatsApp Desktop beta. When you use the new unread chat filter, WhatsApp will automatically list all your unread chats, so it is now easier to manage them. You can easily clear the filter by tapping the filter button again or the label "Clear filter". In addition, when the filter is enabled and you use the search bar, only messages from unread chats will show up in the results.

While this does suggest that the feature is closer to launch, we don't yet know exactly when that will be. WhatsApp is one of the best iPhone apps for chatting with people using Android phones and others who don't have access to iMessage. Those of us with long lists of chats will no doubt benefit from being able to filter out the ones that we don't need to see.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.