WhatsApp users on iOS and Android are getting another great free upgrade

Screen sharing is coming to your phone in the not too distant future

WhatsApp Screen Sharing beta
(Image credit: Wabetainfo.com)

It looks like another big free upgrade is coming to WhatsApp on iPhones and Android phones: the eagle-eyed crew at WABetaInfo have found a new screen sharing feature in the latest WhatsApp beta. The feature doesn't appear to be available to all beta testers but it does seem to be pretty well advanced, so it's likely to turn up in the final version of the app fairly soon.

The new feature adds a new icon to the call control view, and if you tap it you'l lbe asked if you want to start recording or casting with WhatsApp. If you say you do, you can now share your screen: anything you do on your phone will be seen by the other person you're calling.

What are the limitations of WhatsApp screen sharing?

From a privacy point of view this is opt-in rather than opt-out: your screen can't and won't be shared with anybody unless you specifically request to do it.

As WABetaInfo reports, the feature may require a particular version of Android or iOS and may not be available at all on older phones. The screen sharing may not work in large group calls due to the amount of bandwidth it'd require, and if the recipient isn't using the most up to date version of the WhatsApp app – or is using the desktop app – they might not be able to receive your broadcast at all.

These are issues typical of any major upgrade to a messaging app, and WhatsApp's communications are usually crystal clear about what phones will be able to get new features. Apple introduced a similar feature to FaceTime on iPhones earlier this year, and that requires iOS/iPadOS 15.1 or later. 

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).