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WhatsApp is working on its own version of Android's Quick Share feature

WhatsApp's version will allow end-to-end encrypted file transfers between users in close proximity.

Published onJanuary 22, 2024

WhatsApp logo on smartphone next to everyday accessories Stock photo 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • WhatsApp is working on a new file-sharing system like Android’s Quick Share and Apple’s AirDrop.
  • It’ll allow WhatsApp users in close proximity to share files with each other.
  • It looks like file-sharing using the new “People nearby” option in WhatsApp will be end-to-end encrypted.

WhatsApp is reportedly working on a feature allowing users to share files with each other when their devices are nearby.

According to WaBetaInfo, WhatsApp’s new file-sharing feature — akin to Android Quick Share (previously Nearby Share) and Apple’s AirDrop — is currently under development and not ready for beta testing. It was spotted in WhatsApp beta for Android version, and screenshots below show what it could look like once it’s rolled out widely.

It seems WhatsApp users will be able to search for other users in close proximity by entering the new “People nearby” option. Both the sender and receiver will need to have the option open on WhatsApp to initiate the transfer process. Users will also be able to open WhatsApp and shake their device to view share requests.

WhatsApp People Nearby Share feature

It appears that the new file-sharing feature will keep information end-to-end encrypted. User phone numbers will also be hidden for added privacy, so you may be able to comfortably share files with people who are not on your contact list.

Just like Quick Share, WhatsApp’s solution could rely on cellular data and Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE, and WebRTC for online and offline sharing. However, we can’t say this with surety right now because we don’t have concrete details about the new system.

It’s also unclear whether WhatsApp’s new sharing system will have any size/file type/quantity restrictions or not. We’ll have to wait for more details once the feature rolls out officially.

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