With a new WhatsApp beta, WhatsApp will be introducing multi-device support without the need to have your phone around when using the service.
Although WhatsApp users can use the messaging service across several platforms, they still need to be connected to a smartphone, largely because of the way WhatsApp handles end-to-end encryption (E2EE). That’s about to change, and eventually users will no longer need to have a phone nearby to use WhatsApp on the web, macOS, Windows, or Portal.
Starting today, WhatsApp will invite users to try its multi-device beta. Users will be able to use the service on your phone and up to four other devices (as long as they also aren’t phones), explains a press release.
WhatsApp will try the multi-device approach with a small group of people from its beta program, who will be able to opt out of the beta later. With the help of those users, WhatsApp will optimize the multi-device experience and add some more features before rolling it out more broadly.
Very excited to be launching a beta of our new multi-device capability for @WhatsApp. Now you can use our desktop or web experiences even when your phone isn’t active and connected to the internet. All secured with end-to-end encryption.
Learn more: https://t.co/AnFu4Qh6Hd
— Will Cathcart (@wcathcart) July 14, 2021
With the new multi-device capability, each companion device will connect to your WhatsApp account independently. The company says they have developed new architecture to ensure end-to-end encryption is not compromised while syncing chats, contact names, chat archives, starred messages, and so on across devices.
Companion devices will have to be linked by scanning a QR code, and on compatible devices, WhatsApp will also enforce biometric authentication as an extra layer of security. Users will be able to see all the companion devices linked to their WhatsApp account within the app. They can also see when they were last used, and they will be able to log out remotely.
How to join the beta on iPhone:
- In WhatsApp, tap Settings
- Tap Linked Devices
- Tap Multi-Device Beta > JOIN BETA and follow the instructions
For more information, check out WhatsApp’s FAQ page about the multi-device feature.