Like Apple’s FaceTime, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams before it, WhatsApp may soon allow its users to share their screen with others during a video call.
This info comes from WABetaInfo who discovered the upcoming feature after digging through the files of the latest Android beta. According to a recent report, a new icon is set to appear at the bottom of a video call in the call control view. Tapping it will “share your screen” with the other person and “everything displayed… will be recorded”. Of course, you can end the transmission at any time by revoking permission.
There are some requirements that must be met first before anyone can try out screen-sharing. WABetaInfo states the “feature may be unavailable on old versions of Android”, plus the recipient cannot have “an outdated version of WhatsApp.” It’s also possible screen-sharing will not work in large group calls. It’s hard to say for sure what exactly are the limitations for this update since it hasn’t even been officially released. Recall that this is only a beta so there’s still some work left to be done.
If you want to try out screen-sharing yourself, you’ll need to first join the Google Play Beta Program and then install the beta from the platform. Screen-sharing is only available to a few testers at this point, but it will be rolling out to more people “over the coming days.”
It’s unknown if this feature will make its way to iPhones, especially since FaceTime with screen-sharing already exists (although it is possible). What is arriving to WhatsApp on iOS is Companion Mode, which will allow people to link their account on up to “four devices simultaneously” while “maintaining the same level of privacy”. Meta hasn’t made a formal announcement of the new mode, but WABetaInfo does say the patch is officially available from the App Store.
Connecting phones seems pretty simple from the looks of it. All you have to do is scan a QR Code on one iPhone with WhatsApp open on the other iOS device you want to link. “Chat history will safely be synchronized across” all connected smartphones. Similar to screen-sharing on Android, Companion Mode may not be available upon download; however, the changelog on the App Store listing states the update will release “over the coming weeks.” Be sure to keep an eye out for the patch once it reaches you.
All throughout May, Meta has been pumping out WhatsApp updates like they’re going out of style. It’s been a pretty active month for the platform. Be sure to check out TechRadar’s coverage of these other changes like message editing and the new Chat Lock.