WhatsApp has just released a new update for Android smartphones that brings a bunch of new features for the popular app.

Though the update has not been pushed to the Google Play Store, you can still download it from the company’s website and check out the new features.

For those of you who are willing to wait for the next major update, we give you a rundown of the 5 new WhatsApp features you can look forward to…

1. Mark as Unread

With the upcoming update, Android users will soon be able to mark messages as unread even after reading them.

To be clear, this feature does not make it appear as if you have not read the message yet, and your messages will appear as read to senders even after you mark them as unread.
Instead, it can be used to highlight messages so you can get back to them later. Also, marking a message as unread will not change the order of conversations on the app.

2. Custom notifications

WhatsApp is bringing its whole set of custom options, which are available only for the whole app at present, for individual contacts.

For example, if you want to set a specific ringtone for a contact, you can select any song from your playlist, so you know the messages and calls are from that particular person even without looking at your smartphone.

Similarly, you can set notification light colours, separate call and message ringtones, enable or disable vibrations and pop-up notifications for each contact.

3. Mute individual contacts

At present, you can only mute group conversations, but with the next update you will be able to mute individual contacts as well.

If you want to mute any person on your contact list, check the Mute bar in the About menu.

Slide the Mute bar to the right and you will see duration for which you can mute the chat: 8 hours, a week, or a year.

4. Lower data consumption in WhatsApp calls

If you make a lot of WhatsApp calls and want to reduce your data consumption, WhatsApp has added a new option in the app for that purpose.

Under Chats and Calls menu in Settings, you will notice a new option called Low Data Usage at the bottom of the scroll.

Just click the box and you will be able to save some data while making voice calls using WhatsApp.

5. Google Drive integration

 This feature is live now.  This update brings another proof that WhatsApp chats are now backed up to your Google accounts.

If you want to check it out yourself, go to the Account option in Settings and you will see that the Network Usage menu mentions two new details about your data consumption: Google Drive backup bytes sent, and Google Drive backup bytes received.

This is clearly a precursor of the long-awaited Google Drive integration to WhatsApp, which will make backing up your chats, images, videos, voice messages etc much easier.