WhatsApp drops surprise design update — it's rounder and darker now

 The WhatsApp logo on a screen in front of a laptop.
The WhatsApp logo on a screen in front of a laptop.

WhatsApp recently released a surprise design refresh for its iOS and Android versions. The update is a bit more noticeable in light mode, as it includes a new color palette and some other changes to make the apps look more uniform across operating systems.

Spotted at 9to5 Mac, the new redesign is all about green. Notification badges, buttons, and icons are now in green.

Users with iOS devices might not notice the change as much; the icons and tabs have a rounder style, but that’s easy to gloss over. Android is where the changes will be more immediately felt.

The annoying Meta AI/Search bar is gone from the top of the screen. The tab bar is now nestled at the bottom of the screen, just above the home and back buttons. This changes the layout of the Android version to be more similar to the iPhone, but it is jarring if you’re used to the previous layout.

The dark mode is also getting changes. WhatsApp claims it changed the colors to provide higher contrast and darker tones. These changes were designed to “reduce eye strain in low-light environments.”

There are also some new animations and chat wallpapers.

Depending on how you have updates set for your device, you should be able to see the changes now. Testing on phones we have at Tom’s Guide shows that the refreshed design has been rolled out now.

After a quiet start to the year, WhatsApp has maintained a steady flow of updates since mid-April. The company introduced Chat filters to help users find messages faster by breaking chats up into All, Unread and Groups.

At the start of May, WhatsApp launched a feature called Communities that allows people with common interests to create groups and Announcement pages for those communities. Within that, the messaging app added Events so that Communities can plan or recreate calendar events in the app. So far, this feature has only been available to groups in a Community, but WhatsApp says event planning will roll out to everyone later this year.

More from Tom's Guide