WhatsApp finally unveils much-awaited beta version for multi-device support
Isn't it annoying that WhatsApp Web and even its Windows application require your phone to remain connected to the internet in order to work? Well, that could change soon. The Facebook-owned messaging service on Wednesday rolled out multi-device support for beta users. This allows the simultaneous use of up to four non-phone devices without requiring the registered phone to be connected to the internet.
WhatsApp is currently used by over two billion people around the world. While the platform has allowed accounts to be accessible on more than one device at a time (via WhatsApp Web and applications for desktops), the feature mandates that the user's phone remain connected to the internet. Additionally, this system allows only one companion device to be operative at a time.
On July 14, WhatsApp announced a new beta feature that would enable multi-device support even if the user's registered phone is disconnected from the internet or even switched off. WhatsApp told TechCrunch that the beta feature will allow simultaneous access on up to four other devices but none of them can be another smartphone. The feature makes each companion device connect to WhatsApp independently.
In a whitepaper, WhatsApp outlined how the new beta feature works and why it wasn't implemented yet. The messaging service claims that it had to "rethink WhatsApp's architecture and design new systems" to enable this experience "while preserving privacy and end-to-end encryption." The company claimed that "each message is individually encrypted using the established pairwise encryption session with each device."
WhatsApp emphasized that messages aren't stored on its servers after they are delivered and that the platform's security remains fully intact. The claim was reiterated by the company's CEO Will Cathcart in a tweet about multi-device support. At present, the company is rolling out the feature to existing beta users while an opt-in beta for few stable versions is in the pipeline.
The option to join the beta will show up in your 'Linked devices' screen in the near future!— Will Cathcart (@wcathcart) July 14, 2021