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WhatsApp Working on Nearby File Sharing Feature: Users will soon be able to share file with Nearby contacts without Internet connection.

2 Mins read
  • The feature’s new section comes with info about the permissions required
  • Nearby file sharing is said to allow users to set their visibility
  • The WhatsApp feature uses Bluetooth to transfer files to other users

WhatsApp, the ever-popular messaging platform, is reportedly making strides in developing a Nearby File Sharing feature specifically designed for Android users. The WhatsApp feature tracker WABetaInfo spotted the new feature in the WhatsApp beta for Android 2.24.9.22 build. However, the feature is not visible and unavailable to beta testers. The feature was first reported in January 2024 and A new report now claims that the instant messaging platform is adding more improvements to the feature and that it could soon be rolled out in beta.

An Innovation of the Past with a Modern Twist

This feature harks back to the days of Bluetooth file sharing but with a modern twist. Imagine seamlessly sharing photos, videos, and documents with your WhatsApp contacts without needing an internet connection. WhatsApp Nearby File Sharing utilizes Bluetooth to directly connect two devices, allowing for quick and offline file transfers.

Unveiling the Added Improvements

As per the report, the People nearby feature now comes with a screen citing detailed permissions required for it to work. A separate screen also has an animation for finding nearby people and shows the list of discoverable users. Here’s a glimpse of what to expect:

WhatsApp nearby file-sharing feature                                                                                                                            Image Credit: WABetaInfo

  • Visibility Controls: Users will likely have the ability to control their visibility to other devices using the Nearby File Sharing feature. This ensures you only share files with intended recipients.
    Once permissions are granted, users are taken to another page where other users who have activated nearby file-sharing can become discoverable and transfer files among each other without requiring internet connectivity.
  • Permission Clarity: Transparency is key. The feature will reportedly come with a clear explanation of the permissions required for Nearby File Sharing to function, allowing users to make informed decisions.
    As per the screenshots, the People Nearby feature, which is located directly within the Settings menu, now informs users about the permissions WhatsApp requires to be turned on. These include access to photos, media, and files, access to Bluetooth, and access to location. While access to files is required to show and send them to users, Bluetooth, and location services are likely required to maintain the local network with users in proximity.

In the screenshot, WhatsApp claims sharing is end-to-end encrypted and the user’s phone number will remain hidden.

The Road to Release: Still Under Construction

While these improvements are promising, it’s important to remember that Nearby File Sharing is still under development and hasn’t been made available even to Beta testers.

Conclusion

The development of Nearby File Sharing signifies WhatsApp’s commitment to enhancing user experience. This feature can also be a good alternative to sharing large files over the internet which can consume large amounts of data or sharing them through cloud services, especially in situations where the network is unstable or the user has limited data available.

 With features like visibility controls and clear permission structures, WhatsApp is aiming to strike a balance between convenience and security.

As per the report, the feature is near completion and could be available to beta testers via a future update.

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