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The WhatsApp feature every user wants might be launching soon

Published Jul 12th, 2021 6:21PM EDT
WhatsApp Multi-Device
Image: REDPIXEL/Adobe

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WhatsApp is one of the best cross-platform messaging apps on the market. It supports iPhone, Android, and desktops, and it comes with built-in end-to-end encryption like iMessage and Signal. No wonder it’s the world’s most popular instant messenger. It’s also one of the most controversial platforms out there, largely due to Facebook’s privacy-related issues. But for all the bad Facebook is doing, the company is also looking to improve the app. The company has recently confirmed that it’s developing the feature that users want most. A new finding now indicates that WhatsApp multi-device support might finally be available to users soon.

Multi-device functionality is a basic feature for most chat apps. iMessage is the best example of that. It works on iOS, macOS, and watchOS devices. Just log into the correct Apple ID on a new device, and you’ll be able to pick up chatting from where you left off on the previous one.

WhatsApp does have desktop functionality. But it’s with a twist. For WhatsApp to work, a phone needs to have an active connection. Also, you can’t use WhatsApp on iPad, which is a major headache for some users.

What WhatsApp multi-device really means

Proper WhatsApp multi-device support would allow the app to work on several devices simultaneously, regardless of whether the phone has an active internet connection. With multi-device enabled, you’d be able to use the desktop app at any time, even without having your phone nearby.

Top Facebook executives, including Mark Zuckerberg, confirmed to WABetaInfo a few weeks ago that Facebook is working on multi-device support for WhatsApp.

WhatsApp Multi-Device
WhatsApp multi-device support hinted via new WhatsApp for Desktop app. Image source: Facebook via WaBetaInfo

“It’s been a big technical challenge to get all your messages and content to sync properly across devices even when your phone battery dies, but we’ve solved this, and we’re looking forward to getting it out soon!” Zuckerberg said at the time.“[It’ll] still be end-to-end encrypted. I think we’ve solved this in an elegant way, and it’ll be the best solution out there.”

Facebook revealed during the interview that multi-device would be available to WhatsApp beta users in the next month or two. The same WaBetaInfo found evidence that WhatsApp for Desktop beta is near.

How the beta program works

WhatsApp multi-device will have some limitations initially. You’ll link only four devices, and only one of them can be a phone. You’ll continue to use QR codes to sign in to the non-phone devices. So the login experience will be similar.

Once multi-device is enabled, you’ll be able to take advantage of the app to the fullest.

To try WhatsApp multi-device as soon as possible, you’ll have to enroll in the beta program. After that, the WhatsApp Desktop app will be converted to WhatsApp for Desktop beta automatically.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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