WhatsApp has been upgrading its file sharing capabilities in recent times. The popular messaging platform added support for HD photo sharing for all users last year. Now, the Meta-owned app has been spotted working on a new nearby file sharing feature that allows WhatsApp users on Android to share files with other users in their vicinity. Additionally, as part of the same update for the beta version of the app on Android, WhatsApp has also issued a fix for a camera bug in the application.
According to a report by WhatsApp feature tracked WABetaInfo, the app is rolling out an update — version 22.214.171.124 — through the Google Play Beta Program, which shows that a new file sharing feature is in the works. WhatsApp is reportedly developing the ability to share files with other users nearby, much like Apple’s AirDrop feature, and the feature should be available widely in a future update of the app.
Nearby file sharing is not yet ready for beta testers, but the WABetaInfo report provides a preview of the feature. A shared screenshot of the in-development feature shows a “Share files with people nearby” option in the app, along with a list of users nearby and a setting that allows users to set their visibility. Additionally, it seems users can set themselves to be visible to other nearby users without revealing their phone number to non-contacts. Users would also have to wait for nearby users to accept their share request. Nearby users can open WhatsApp and shake their device to see an incoming share request. It’s also worth noting that the nearby sharing feature would be end-to-end encrypted to maintain privacy.
While the nearby file sharing feature will reportedly arrive in a future update, the WhatsApp beta for Android 126.96.36.199 update has rolled out a fix for a recent bug that prevented users from launching the camera in the app. According to a separate WABetaInfo report, some beta testers on Android encountered an issue that prevented them from launching the camera inside the app after the 188.8.131.52 WhatsApp beta update. The bug would show a message in the app that read “Can’t start camera, please restart your device.” Restarting the device or relaunching the app, however, did not fix the issue.
The latest WhatsApp beta for Android 184.108.40.206 update brings a fix for the camera bug, allowing users to launch the camera inside WhatsApp and proceed to share photos and videos with their contacts.
Last week, WhatsApp Channels, the broadcasting feature that lets organisations and public personalities send updates to their followers on the messaging platform, received a host of new tools, including a polling feature, voice notes and the ability to share Channel updates to Status.