WhatsApp, the popular messaging app owned by Facebook, is reportedly working on a new feature that will allow Android users to share files with nearby devices, similar to Apple’s AirDrop tool. The feature, which is currently in development, will enable users to send and receive files without revealing their phone numbers or using the internet.
How will the feature work?
According to a report by WABetaInfo, a website that tracks WhatsApp updates, the feature is called Nearby Share and it will be available in a future update of the app. The feature will use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to establish a connection between two devices that are in close proximity. Users will be able to choose whether they want to be visible to everyone, only to their contacts, or to no one.
To initiate file sharing, users will have to scan a QR code or enter a six-digit code that will be generated by the app. Once the connection is established, users will be able to send and receive files of any type and size, such as photos, videos, documents, and audio files. The feature will also work with multiple devices at the same time, allowing users to share files with a group of people nearby.
Why is the feature important?
The feature will be a useful addition to WhatsApp, which already has over two billion users worldwide. The feature will make file sharing easier and faster, especially in situations where internet connectivity is poor or unavailable. The feature will also enhance the privacy and security of users, as they will not have to share their phone numbers or use third-party apps to transfer files.
The feature will also give WhatsApp an edge over its competitors, such as Telegram and Signal, which do not have a similar functionality. The feature will also bring WhatsApp closer to Apple’s ecosystem, which offers AirDrop, a tool that allows users to share files wirelessly between iOS, iPadOS, and macOS devices.
When will the feature be available?
The feature is still in the early stages of development and it is not clear when it will be released to the public. The feature is currently being tested on the beta version of WhatsApp for Android, which has the version number 220.127.116.11. Users who want to try the feature will have to enroll in the Google Play Beta Program and download the latest update of the app.
However, the feature is not yet accessible to beta testers, as it is hidden in the app’s settings. WABetaInfo has shared some screenshots of the feature, which show how it will look and work. The feature is expected to be rolled out gradually to all users once it is ready and stable.