Friday Jul 16, 2021
WhatsApp is finally rolling out a limited public beta test for WhatsApp’s updated multi-device capability which allows users to use the application across various devices.
Up until now, WhatsApp was only available on one device at a time.
Head of WhatsApp Will Cathcart took to Twitter to announce the new feature.
“Very excited to be launching a beta of our new multi-device capability for WhatsApp,” the tweet read.
The much-awaited feature will now allow users to send messages via four other devices even if the phone isn’t active or connected to the internet.
“Each companion device will connect to your WhatsApp independently while maintaining the same level of privacy and security through end-to-end encryption that people who use WhatsApp have come to expect,” explains an article by Facebook Engineering.
The phone is used as a primary device right now and is the only device capable of end-to-end encrypting messages for another user or initiating calls, etc.
The new architecture of WhatsApp, however, will allow the app to work on non-phone devices simultaneously as the phone is no longer the primary device.
This means you may use the app on your laptop for messaging while engaged on a call using your phone. In addition, this will aid the multi-device facility without requiring an active connection with your phone.
WhatsApp is also aiming to release an Automatic Device Verification. This feature will allow devices to automatically establish trust between each other in a way that verification will only be required if a new device is registered.
This process will now require biometric verification. Users will also be able to see all the companion devices linked to their accounts.
The newly-developed technologies will ensure end-to-end encryption while keeping data — message history, contact names, starred messages, and more — in sync across devices.
The feature will initially only be tested on a small group of users from the existing beta program. Once the feature is optimized, WhatsApp will roll out the feature on a broader scale.
“The option to join the beta will show up in your 'Linked devices' screen in the near future!” says Cathcart on Twitter.
WhatsApp hopes the multi-device feature will improve the user’s experience while maintaining end to end encryption.