What you need to know
- The ability to share content to WhatsApp through the Windows share button recently rolled out to Beta Channel Insiders.
- Very few apps support the share button on Windows.
- In contrast, a large number of apps on iOS and Android integrate with similar functionality on those operating systems.
A recent Insider build of Windows 11 flags up the sad state of developer relationships with Microsoft. Windows 11 Build 22635.2850 recently shipped to Insiders in the Beta Channel, and it includes the option to share content to WhatsApp through the share button on Windows. The feature lets you share a website or other content to some apps with a couple of clicks, but very few apps support it.
Some Microsoft apps, such as Skype, Outlook, and LinkedIn work with the share button. Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) support the feature as well. But quite a few apps lack integration with the share button, including Telegram and even the Drop feature in Microsoft Edge.
The feature is officially referred to as the "Share using" section by Microsoft in its blog post about the addition of WhatsApp support and Build 22635.2850.
Microsoft's struggles with developers
Microsoft made it possible for apps to integrate with the share button years ago. It's not like the company just rolled out the feature. The support document outlining how to add the feature shows that the process is rather simple. So why has it taken so long to start testing WhatsApp support through the share button? Ask Meta. It's on developers to add the necessary code to their apps.
The fact that share button support is only in testing now is saddening. Similar functionality has been available on iOS and Android for ages. You can blame Microsoft for not being as convincing as Apple and Google or blame Meta and other companies for not adopting new Windows features, but the reality is the same. Developers do not work to take advantage of Windows 11 features to anywhere near the same level as they do for iOS and Android.
Windows 11 Build 22635.2850, which introduced the option to share through WhatsApp, shipped to Beta Channel Insiders on December 8, 2023. The addition sparked a conversation on Reddit regarding the share button in Windows.
"Why is the share button so useless?" asked Reddit user Beautiful_Car8681. They added that "there are so many other programs (Telegram, Discord) that are not available with the share feature, and even basic features like Bluetooth or Drop (the latter share files between Desktop and Android)."
They raise a good question, especially when it comes to Microsoft's own features. Why should Meta and other companies care about integrating with the share button when some Microsoft apps fail to support it?
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's quite simple actually - windows is used in bigger screen with keyboard and better pointing device support so usually using copy-paste or drag-and-drop and better processing is just better and more natural. The whole "share button" was introduced on mobile OS because they are soooooo limited that it was (and is) the only option to somehow manage data between apps... not sure if forcing it and decrying that it's on popular on desktop make sense..Reply