WhatsApp is enhancing user experience on its dominant cross-platform messaging application by adding several new features. In a new update rolled out to iOS devices, WhatsApp has added 9 features to improve usage of its app on iPhones.

The official update for iOS version of WhatsApp lets users backup videos, set custom notifications for different contacts, mute chats, share location directly from Apple Maps and more.

This is one of the biggest update rolled out for the iOS version of WhatsApp in the recent past.

The update puts the popular messaging app on par with its Android counterpart, which received similar features unofficially two weeks ago.

Listed below are the features available for iPhone users of WhatsApp version 2.12.5, along with a brief description:

Video Backups: WhatsApp is no longer limited to backing up chats and images, as the latest iOS update lets you take a backup of videos in your chats. To do so, go to Settings > Chats and Calls > Chat Backup and enable videos.

Custom Notifications: If you like to set different tones for your contacts, it is now possible on WhatsApp for iOS as the update lets you set customise chat notifications for each contact. If your memory is good, this feature can tell you who the sender is without even looking up your iPhone.

Mark Chats Read/Unread: Simply by swiping a conversation to right, you can mark chats as read or unread for both groups and individual contacts. This feature, just like in emails, works best when you are busy and wish to get back to the sender at a later time. By marking a conversation as unread, a blue dot will be visible to you to help you differentiate. 'Mark as Unread' feature will not affect the status of the message for its sender, which will either show grey or blue ticks.

Share Contacts And Location: After updating the app to its latest version, you can share contacts directly from Contacts app to WhatsApp. Similarly, if you wish to share a location from Apple Maps, go to share and choose WhatsApp to send your location in a chat. The location thumbnail appears larger in the updated iOS app to better show the location of the sender.

Mute Chats: If you have some annoying groups or contacts on your WhatsApp list, you can take advantage of the new Mute function to silence any messages coming from them.

Auto Load Older Messages: Users scrolling through older messages need not stop to tap "view older messages," as the latest WhatsApp update for iPhones automatically loads older messages as you scroll above.

Reduce Data Usage On Calls: If you are among those who use WhatsApp's voice-calling feature, here's a great feature that will rest all your worries about running out of your data balance. Users can set voice calls on low data usage to consume less bandwidth. This is expected to lower your call experience, but there's a price to pay for everything. To activate this feature, go to Settings > Chats and Calls > Low Data Usage.

Redesigned Photo And Video Cropping: WhatsApp update has also redesigned the photo and video cropping feature to let users rotate images in different angles and more.

Improved Voiceover Support: WhatsApp has also improved support for gesture-based screen reading feature on iPhones.

While these features have already made their way to the iOS version of WhatsApp, Android and other platforms are yet to get them officially via respective app stores.

Apple users can update WhatsApp from iTunes to enjoy the new features. If you are on Android and wish to have these features, go to the company's official website and download the app's APK file and install it on your smartphone. Android users are expected to receive the new features via Google Play Store soon.