WhatsApp has updated with App Shortcut function for devices running Android 7.1 Nougat and above. The latest Beta version of WhatsApp (v2.17.277) includes this feature and allows you to access most used functions of WhatsApp, such as ‘New chat’, ‘Starred messages’ and ‘Camera’ by just long pressing on the WhatsApp icon. If you have not seen this option, just update to version 2.17.277.
Currently only these three functions (new chat, starred messages and camera) are available on WhatsApp app shortcut. Other useful shortcut functions like ‘recent chat’ may include in the future update. Now you can start WhatsApp camera, start a new chat, or view your starred messages quickly using this feature.
To remind you, App Shortcut or launcher shortcut is a quick access feature introduced on Android 7.1 Nougat. Since then many app developers are introducing this function in their apps to help users quick access some of its features.
Note that, though Nova launcher brings the Android 7.1’s App Shortcut feature even on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and Android 5.1 Lollipop, WhatsApp’s app shortcut feature is not fully compatible with the launcher on these versions.