What you need to know
- WhatsApp has been spotted working on its file-sharing feature similar to Android's Quick Share, though it is currently in development and not yet ready for beta testing.
- The new "People nearby" option will enable users to find others nearby, and users can shake their devices to view share requests.
- The file-sharing feature will retain end-to-end encryption to ensure the security of transferred files, and user phone numbers will remain hidden from non-contacts.
WhatsApp is supposedly developing a file-sharing feature that allows users to share files when their devices are in close proximity.
According to WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is working on a fresh feature dubbed "People nearby." There's no official release date yet, but a sneak peek via a shared screenshot gives us a glimpse of what's in store.
To start sharing files, the sender and recipient must pop into the "People nearby" section and wait for the file transfer to complete. WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption will lock your information, just like the usual drill across Meta's messaging platform.
To protect your privacy, WhatsApp will keep your phone number under wraps when you share files with users beyond your contact list.
If you want to check out and accept a share request on WhatsApp, a little shake of your device will likely do the trick. And being close to the other person is a must.
Whether WhatsApp's new sharing system will limit the file size you can share and how many you can sling around remains in the air.
For context, Samsung's Quick Share caps it at 1GB per file and 2GB per day, as per Samsung's support page. Android's Nearby Share, which has been recently rebranded to Quick Share, lets you share up to 500 files daily with no size limit. Meanwhile, Apple's AirDrop doesn't have any limitations whatsoever.
It's worth pointing out that the Meta-owned messaging service recently upped its game by letting users share files up to 2GB. Now, the big question is whether this limit holds true for the upcoming file-sharing feature.
The People nearby feature is still in the works and hasn't hit the beta testing stage yet. The eagle-eyed folks at WABetaInfo spotted it in action on WhatsApp beta for Android version 220.127.116.11, and it could arrive in a future update, just like most of the past WhatsApp experiments.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.
Anyone else thinking of the XKCD comic about standards? At least Google and Samsung did the right thing.Reply