A twitter account thats dedicated to reporting on new WhatsApp beta builds has tweeted of a new feature that its allegedly uncovered. @WABetaInfo tweeted a couple of screenshots of a newly spotted feature in version 188.8.131.52 for iOS and version 2.16.399 for Android. Users in a group chat would be able to broadcast their live location to the others on the group chat.
184.108.40.206 iOS | 2.16.399+ Android: Live Location feature, that tracks the live location of other group participants (DISABLED BY DEFAULT). pic.twitter.com/pYEXT1nxyR
WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) January 26, 2017
The feature is disabled by default, but if the leaked screenshots are true (which they pretty much do) then there will finally be an alternative way to share live location with iOS and Android users. Given that many people use WhatsApp on a global scale, itd be much easier to share a constant location with a friend that you might be meeting in the next hour or so if both of you don’t use iOS.
iOS users have had this feature for years baked into iMessage, though not in the exact same way: In iMessage, users can request or begin sending location to another iMessage user. The location can be shared temporarily or indefinitely.
If WhatsApp wants to be a couple of steps ahead of the iOS messaging suite, a viable competitor, it needs to beat Apple to the punch of an early rumor suggesting that Apple would bring multi-user FaceTime calls. Get to it, WhatsApp.
Thanks for the tip, Michael!