We’ve been waiting for the new version of WeChat (or Weixin), edition 5.0, for a while that reportedly would be a major update. Today we heard about some of the new features, some of which sound too good. We still have to wait for the launch day, which is still unknown, to see it for ourselves.
The Almighty Scanner
Scan to see places around you. The feature can locate where you are and show images of places around your location. It sounds possible to add such a capability as Tencent’s Soso Maps also has a Google Street View-like service.
Scan for translations. A text in one language can be translated into another if you scan it with WeChat scanner. It also sounds feasible as Soso Huiyan, an app from QQ Labs, can do so.
Scan to get the information of a good. The details about a book or CD would show up after you scan the bar code on it. It also can be realized by Soso Huiyan.
Shake to get videos
Currently the version for the mainland China can recognized music if you shake your phone. It seems it works the same with the music recognition function that it tells and searchs for a video through the sound.
Chat history, including voice messages, and posts on Moments will be saved automatically. The capability has been well-functioning and much welcomed by QQ IM users. The current version can save the chat history for users for seven days but you have to turn it on manually.
With about 11 game titles in the offering, WeChat is expecting to generate some revenue. Of course, this revenue would come directly from the newly introduced payment service, called ‘WeChat Payment’ that will collect money from the users. You will be able to associate your bank accounts with your account. There’s a new built-in scanner that can read and recognize books, CDs and other goods. The scanner can recognize English / Chinese words and perform translations on the go.
Much awaited voice-to-text capability has been added. At present the technology only supports Mandarin and the makers of the app claim that they’ve developed the technology completely in-house. Those who love to add graphics in their messages may take a look at the new emoticon market. Paid emoticons will be made available for about a US dollar each.
Do share your thoughts about the new WeChat once you get the update in your country.