WhatsApp has finally started rolling out the long-awaited multi-device capability that will allow users to access the instant messaging app not only on their phones but also on four non-phone devices at the same time. The new development, which was initially a limited public beta test, emerged months after the rumor mill signaled its presence behind the scenes. WhatsApp says it “should rethink” the architecture and design a new system to bring multi -device support to its final form. The Facebook-owned company is also required to maintain end-to-end privacy and encryption while activating new experiences.
While WhatsApp has allowed users to access its platform simultaneously on secondary devices like desktops or laptops for some time, the latest update aims to provide a stand -alone multi -device experience where users don’t even need their phones connected to the Internet or can even be turned off. This is useful in many cases.
So, for example, even if your phone’s battery dies, you can still access WhatsApp on a laptop using the new multi -device capabilities. This will also appear if the Internet connection on your phone is unstable but you have a stable network connected to your desktop.
WhatsApp has used the capabilities of multiple devices over the past few months – several references show its progress since July 2019. The company says that it is developing new technology to maintain end -to -end encryption while keeping your data such as message history, contact names, and starred messages synced seamlessly across all devices.
“Multi-device WhatsApp uses a customer-fanout approach, where a WhatsApp customer who sends a message encrypts and sends it N times to N number of different devices-which are on the list of sender and receiver devices,” the firm explained the post. “Each message is encrypted individually using a paired encryption session set with each device. The message is not stored on the server once sent.”
In addition to messaging, WhatsApp maintains end-to-end encryption for voice and video calls available on a variety of devices. The company also says that it syncs data such as message history and app state data including contact names and whether chats are archived or if messages are starred across devices. Data synchronized between devices is also claimed to be encrypted from end to end.
WhatsApp has updated its security paper to detail how it implements multi -device support while maintaining the same level of encryption it offers on each device.
“Starting July 14, 2021, users can have many devices, each with its own set of encryption keys. If the encryption key of one device is compromised, an attacker cannot use it to decrypt messages sent to other devices, even devices registered to the same user, ”the company said in its white paper.
How to get the capabilities of multiple WhatsApp devices
WhatsApp initially made multi -device capabilities available to a “small group of users” who were already part of the beta program. However, there are plans to add beta opt-in access even for users on the stable version that will be available through Linked devices screen in the future.
The option to join the beta will appear on the ‘Linked devices’ screen in the near future!
– Will Cathcart (@wcathcart) July 14, 2021
Users who get multi -device capability on their WhatsApp account will be able to connect a new companion device by scanning a QR code from their phone. This is similar to the way you connect your account on the WhatsApp Web or desktop today. You will also be asked for biometric verification before creating a link. Furthermore, at any time, you will be able to sign out of the companion device or see all the devices connected to your account and when they were last used.
By providing extensive support for multiple devices, WhatsApp makes it easy for users to access its messaging platform via the Web, macOS, Windows, and even devices like the Facebook Portal. The new update time is also interesting because people now work remotely and spend more time on their computing devices (e.g. desktops or laptops) over the phone.
WhatsApp has also been expected to bring native support for the iPad. Although it seems to be still in process and not yet ready for users, multi-device capabilities can serve as a temporary replacement even on the iPad.
It’s important to note that just like WhatsApp, Apple’s iMessage has been providing multi -device support exclusively on Apple devices for some time. Telegram also has support for multiple devices, but is not available with end -to -end encryption and is limited to cloud chats – not for synchronizing secret chats. Alerts, on the other hand, allow users to access services on their desktop (or up to 5 linked devices) but require them to connect via phone to send and receive messages.