In the wake of WhatsApp‘s announcement to cut all support for older mobile platforms, the Facebook-owned messenger has rolled out a feature that many have undoubtedly been wanting — the ability to send docs.
A simple feature, but a feature WhatsApp has not supported before this. In the past, if you wanted to send a document, a simple “hack” many employed was to change the extension of the file to a supported file type, send it over via WhatsApp and have the other person change the extension back.
Now, a simple tap on the paperclip icon would bring up a the option to send docs. But, WhatsApp didn’t just add the option to the existing 6 types of shareable media, instead, they removed the “Video” option to make way for “Document”.
This is a great addition as it brings WhatsApp in line with other apps like Telegram that support sending and receiving documents via chat. However, the biggest difference in WhatsApp’s implementation is that you can only send PDF files. Yep, no .docx for you yet, unfortunately.
Another little ding in WhatsApp’s new addition is the fact that iOS devices don’t seem to be supported yet. Our iPhone 6S Plus can receive PDF files sent from Android devices, but it can’t send PDF files of its own. The same is also true for our BlackBerry Classic running BlackBerry 10, but that’s less surprising since WhatsApp already announced that support for BB10 would stop at the end of 2016.
You will still be able to send video via the “Gallery” option as usual, so the only thing you’re missing is the option to record a video directly from the app and share it.
WhatsApp didn’t include this particular update in their changelog but this isn’t the first time they’ve “ninja-released” a new feature either. Backup to Google Drive was also a feature that was quietly rolled out before finally being included in the app’s latest changelog as a feature.
Then again, seeing how limited and incomplete the feature still seems to be so far, it isn’t too surprising then that WhatsApp decided to keep it off their changelog in the meantime. That said, at least this is a step in the right direction. Kudos!
It is possible that not everyone will have this option to share documents just yet, like how I never got the option to backup to Google Drive until recently, so just keep your WhatsApp application up to date from your app store (Android, iOS) and hope for the best in the meantime.