THIS WEEK'S SPONSOR:

Concepts

Sketch, Note, Draw


WhatsApp Adds Rich Previews for Web Links

A link preview in the new WhatsApp for iPhone.

A link preview in the new WhatsApp for iPhone.

With an update released today on the App Store, WhatsApp has brought a functionality I’ve long wished was also available in Apple’s Messages app: rich previews for links shared in conversations.

Similar to existing implementations in Facebook’s iOS apps and other services such as Slack, the new option lets you include a rich snippet for each link pasted in a chat. Instead of sharing a simple tappable URL that opens Safari, these previews can show a webpage’s title and lead image alongside the link in a conversation, adding context that can be useful to see what a link is about before tapping it. Link previews aren’t sent by default: after pasting a URL, a preview is automatically generated and displayed above WhatsApp’s text field, so you can choose to add it or dismiss it by tapping a close button.

As I argued in the Notes section of my iOS 9 review, I’d like to see Apple make Notes’ link previews (which are very similar to WhatsApp’s) a system-feature of iOS, bringing them to Messages, Mail, Reminders, and other apps with a consistent design, perhaps even offering a developer API to enable link previews in third-party apps.

WhatsApp’s latest update – which also includes a redesigned Settings screen and more 3D Touch quick actions to preview chats – is available on the App Store.

Unlock More with Club MacStories

Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.

In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.

The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.

Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:

  • Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
  • Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
  • Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.