WhatsApp for Android is making it much easier to find older messages

WhatsApp users on Android just got access to a feature that iPhone owners have been making use of for a while now: the ability to search through conversations by date, which makes it much easier to dig out old chats.

The new feature was announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on his WhatsApp channel (via TechCrunch), and is apparently rolling out to Android devices now – so if you don't have it already, you should see it soon.

To use it, head into any of your chats, then tap the three dots (top right) and Search. You should then see a calendar icon in the top-right corner, which you can tap on to jump to messages sent and received on a particular day. You can also tap on the name of the conversation at the top to find the Search option.

This is all very similar to how the 'search by date' function works on other platforms, but Android has been lagging behind in this respect – even WhatsApp for the web offers the option to search through chats by date.

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This is of course a handy and welcome addition for WhatsApp users on Android, as it could save a serious amount of scrolling – assuming of course, that you can remember the date when you got the message or media file you're looking for.

To give the WhatsApp team credit, it's an app that gets new features on a regular basis, though not always at the same time on Android and iOS. The app actually looks different depending on which mobile OS you're using – Android puts the navigation tabs at the top, for example, but they're underneath the chat list on iOS.

Despite these disparities, the app continues to grow in popularity as a cross-platform, secure, and reliable messaging platform. It's estimated to have around 2 billion active users worldwide, which is a fair chunk of the global population.

In recent months we've seen WhatsApp roll out upgrades for photo and video sharing, as well as test an expansion of the Chat Lock feature, making it easier to protect certain conversations across multiple devices.

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