WhatsApp is working on a new sharing feature that works similarly to Apple’s AirDrop, allowing users to exchange files with others nearby.
A report from WhatsApp news site, WABetaInfo, revealed the latest beta version of the popular messenger app, owned by Meta, is testing out the facility which would be connected over WiFi and if all goes to plan, it could be introduced to everyone shortly.
It is anticipated the new feature will operate by an activation prompt and then confirm the relevant content to be shared by shaking your smartphone.
Importantly, it will allow a transaction to take place without having the other party as a contact and security is ensured with end-to-end encryption, meaning others won’t be able to interfere with the file share.
Even within the share, privacy is retained as there is no requirement to share your phone number so it appears to be a very useful asset to add to WhatsApp’s existing additional features including Chat Lock.
With the universal prevalence of WhatsApp across iOS and Android, it could prove to be a handy option that removes the need for a different app or service for sharing.
Control and confidence
At present, you can send a file to a WhatsApp contact by directly messaging the other person.
On iPhone, you select the plus icon or on Android, you press the paperclip and from there you can send or receive an item up to 2 GB in size.
Meta will need to ensure it has control and confidence in the new feature, to avoid the mistakes of AirDrop after Apple was censured in the UK for the sharing of unsolicited nudes. It later restricted the period that users could receive files from non-contacts to 10 minutes with a similar time control mechanism likely to be included by WhatsApp.
The file-sharing function is tipped to be added to a future update for the instant messaging app.