WhatsApp is testing a new Apple AirDrop-like file sharing feature with Android users

The WhatsApp instant messaging app is now reportedly testing a file sharing feature that will be similar to WhatsApp for sending files to nearby people.

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WhatsApp, the hugely popular instant messaging platform that is available across all platforms including the web, is testing a new feature that will allow people to send and receive files with others within close proximity. The feature, which sounds similar to Apple's AirDrop feature, is currently being tested by beta testers of the WhatsApp app on Android.

AirDrop is a feature that allows iPhone, iPad, and Mac owners to easily share files between devices just by bringing them close together. But the feature in testing appears to be part of the work that WhatsApp is doing to make it easier for people to do something similar across platforms for the first time.

The new feature was first reported by WABetaInfo and is currently available to beta testers who have access to the Android version of WhatsApp's beta app. The report claims that users will need to shake their device to initiate a share request, while end-to-end encryption is used when sending the files between devices. It's also worth noting that phone numbers are reportedly not transferred which could make this a great way to send files to people who aren't in your contacts should the need arise to do so.

The new file-sharing feature is currently under development and will likely make an appearance in a future update although it's impossible to know how long it could take before it makes its way into the versions of WhatsApp that can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play Store. WhatsApp is normally pretty good at taking beta features and progressing them to the final release, however, so fingers crossed this one doesn't take an age to arrive.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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