Until now, WhatsApp on computers has been nothing more than a conduit to and from the mobile app on the phone. That app must always be connected to the desktop app or else it won’t work. WhatsApp is linked to a single phone number and can therefore not be used simultaneously on two different phones or tablets.
WhatsApp has been testing a method for a few months in which the app can be used on multiple devices. That test is now available to everyone, reports XDA Developers.
WhatsApp can then, for example, be used via the app on the PC, while the phone is not connected.
To be found in the settings
If you want to use the function, you must go to the ‘Paired devices’ tab in WhatsApp’s settings. If available, there will be a ‘Multi-Device Beta’ option. Connected devices must then be reconnected to WhatsApp via QR code, after which those devices can also send and receive messages without a smartphone connection.
Because this is a beta test, there are still some hiccups. Some users suffer from messages that are slow or not syncing. They have already read all messages on their phone or laptop, but these messages are still marked as unread on their other computer.
Method ‘challenging’ to make
The new function took a long time, partly because WhatsApp had to make a lot of technical adjustments to make the function possible. For example, a new system had to be built that allows the exchange of the encryption keys of WhatsApp. Thanks to those keys, WhatsApp chats cannot be viewed by third parties, but adding multiple devices was “challenging” according to WhatsApp.
For now, the feature only works on WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp Desktop. Meanwhile, WhatsApp is also said to be working on a tablet app for Android and iPad. WhatsApp cannot be used on two smartphones at the same time with the feature.