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WhatsApp wants to simplify file sharing between smartphones with this feature

© Christian Wiediger/Unsplash

WhatsApp was created to provide users with an alternative to texting. But many people also use the messaging app as a notes app (sending a text message to themselves to remember something), or as a way to transfer a file. And the good news is that the messaging app is working on a new file sharing feature that, if launched, could make WhatsApp even more useful.

Currently, if you want to send a file to someone, you can include it in the attachment of a message to that person. But soon, the app might offer a new way to transfer a document, photo, etc. to another WhatsApp user who is nearby. In January, our colleagues at WABetaInfo discovered the existence of this feature under development, by digging into a beta version of WhatsApp. And in a recent article, the site claims that it has discovered new elements, giving us a more precise idea of ​​how the future novelty will work.

Called “People nearby ” or “people nearby”, this WhatsApp feature would work like Quick Share on Android, or AirDrop on iOS. Once the user has given all the necessary permissions to WhatsApp, they would be able to open the new “People nearby” screen of the app, detect people nearby, then to share files on this screen. However, for two people to be able to use this feature to transfer files, they should both have the “People nearby” screen open.

WhatsApp becomes even more essential

On the one hand, WhatsApp is trying to optimize its app for already common use. But, at the same time, the app could compete with native Android and iOS file sharing services. For the moment, this new development has only been discovered on the beta version of WhatsApp on Android. But if the messaging service offers “People nearby” on both Android and iOS, it could resolve interoperability issues between these two platforms when it comes to file transfer.

Regarding confidentiality, the screen shared by the WABetaInfo site indicates that, like WhatsApp texts, these file shares via local network will be end-to-end encrypted. In addition, to share a file via this system or to receive one, it will not be necessary to give your phone number to the other person.

At this time, it is unknown when this feature will be available. But in any case, it should make WhatsApp even more popular. And People nearby could make WhatsApp even more useful in the professional environment, in which the app is increasingly used. Moreover, today, WhatsApp already allows users to have two accounts on the same smartphone, in order to allow them to separate their personal and professional lives.

  • WhatsApp is already used to transfer files between smartphones, via text message attachments
  • But the app is working on a more efficient way to send a document or images to a person nearby
  • If this feature launches on Android and iOS, it would be a competitor to Quick Share and AirDrop

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116