WhatsApp is finally pushing an upgrade to a key feature that even acknowledged by Facebook’s own instant messaging service has been a major demand of users for years.
On Wednesday, WhatsApp said it will launch a limited public beta test for enhanced multi -device capabilities.
This update allows WhatsApp users for the first time to use the service on up to four non -phone devices without turning on a registered phone or connecting to the internet. A WhatsApp spokesperson told TechCrunch that this multi -device network cannot have other phones on it.
“Each companion device will connect to your WhatsApp independently,” the messaging app said in a post.
Clearly, WhatsApp, used by more than 2 billion users worldwide, already provides support for the use of multiple devices. A user can access services simultaneously, for example, from a web browser or desktop application on their computer. But the multi -device support stream currently requires the phone to be connected to the internet.
In WhatsApp’s own words:
“By requiring the phone to perform all operations, the companion device is slower and often disconnected – especially when the phone has a poor connection, the battery is running low, or the application process is killed by the phone’s OS. This also allows only one companion device to operate at a time. , which means people can’t make calls on the Portal while checking their messages on their PC, for example.
The new WhatsApp multi -device architecture removes this hurdle, no longer requiring a smartphone to be a source of authorization while still keeping user data seamlessly and securely synchronized and private. “
In a white paper published today (PDF), WhatsApp has outlined how this feature works, which gives an idea of why it takes so long to ship.
The firm says it has developed new technology that ensures that even on multiple devices, messages are synchronized while maintaining end -to -end encryption, a performance that is currently rare on the market.
“To achieve this, we need to rethink the WhatsApp architecture and design a new system to enable a stand-alone multi-device experience while maintaining end-to-end privacy and encryption,” the company wrote. “Each message is encrypted individually using a paired encryption session set with each device. The message is not stored on the server once sent.”
The feature also doesn’t change the way WhatsApp uses cloud backup for users, a spokesperson said. “The mechanism we use to synchronize messages and other application data across user devices does not rely on our cloud recommendations,” the spokesperson added, pointing to a whitepaper that explains the protocol in more detail.
WhatsApp does not have a specific date when it plans to roll out this feature to all users. Instead, the firm told us that it initially rolled out this feature to existing beta users. Over the next few months, he plans to start adding it as a beta opt-in feature for a small number of users on a stable version of the app.
The features mentioned above are one of the many that are being developed by WhatsApp. WhatsApp is working on an app specifically for the iPad and also developed a missing mode feature last year. The app, which currently allows users to set a seven -day timer on messages, plans to expand this feature to allow users to share photos and videos that can only be viewed once.