WhatsApp multi-device support is now officially rolling out to all Android and iOS users. The popular messaging platform has been testing the feature for beta users since July this year.
The Facebook-owned company already offers a web version and desktop app. However, users had to ensure that their primary device (smartphone) was connected to the internet to use the messaging service on another linked device. With the multi-device feature, WhatsApp users can now stay connected on another device even when their primary device is without internet or switched off.
WhatsApp multi-device support: what is it
As the name suggests, the multi-device feature support will allow users to link and use the messaging service on up to four devices simultaneously. The key highlight is that users can run the Facebook-owned platform even when their primary device is without an internet connection or powered off. This means that with the latest feature, WhatsApp can run on laptops, PCs, web browsers apart from non-smartphones. Unfortunately, a secondary smartphone and tablets are not supported at the moment.
With the multi-device feature, users can send and receive messages on their secondary linked devices. It’s worth noting that the messenger will be available for 14 days on secondary devices after which it will be disconnected. The feature seems to be quite useful if you have to stay in touch with your contacts in case of worst-case scenarios like losing a smartphone, no internet connection, or a switched-off phone.
WhatsApp multi-device support: how to enable
WhatsApp says that the multi-device beta is an opt-in program and is currently available to those using the latest version of the app on Android or iPhone. To get this multi-device feature on your primary phone, follow the steps below.
- Open WhatsApp app on your Android device
- Tap the ‘three dot’ menu in the top right corner
- Select ‘Linked devices’ and choose ‘Multi-device beta’
- In the next window, tap on ‘Join Beta’ and hit continue
Once you join the beta, you will be unlinked from all the devices before relinking. You have to go back to the previous screen and tap on Link a Device. You will then be prompted to unlock your smartphone and scan the QR code on the device you want to link and use your WhatsApp account.
How to leave WhatsApp multi-device beta
WhatsApp says that users can leave and rejoin the multi-device beta program at any time. Users can simply perform the same steps they followed while enabling the multi-device feature only to leave it this time.
WhatsApp multi-device beta: unsupported features
WhatsApp says that the multi-device feature is still in the beta phase. It will pretty much work in the same way except users will be able to converse whether their primary device is online or not. The instant messaging platform also added that messages and calls are end-to-end encrypted. However, WhatsApp also revealed that there might be performance issues or bugs when using the multi-device feature. The list includes:
- Deleting chats if the primary device is iPhone
- Messaging or calling someone who is using a very older version of WhatsApp on their phone
- Viewing live location on companion devices
- Creating and viewing broadcast lists on companion devices
- Sending messages with link previews on WhatsApp