So far, you may have heard about the WhatsApp multi-device support feature, as it spent quite some time in testing. And now, it is finally official: you won’t need your phone online at all times to use WhatsApp on your other device, and the update will be rolling out globally soon, reports 91Mobiles.
WhatsApp multi-device support feature rolling out soon to Android and iOS: chat on your PC without your phone online
In case you don’t know this, this quite useful and convenient feature spent eight months of beta testing. It was available earlier for beta testing (you could opt-in even if your WhatsApp account wasn’t a beta testing one), but now, it will be starting its rollout to everyone on Android and iOS. WABetaInfo reports that iOS users will be getting it (and some other improvements of the app) by the end of this month, and Android users should be getting it in April.
With this feature, you can have up to four devices connected to your WhatsApp account simultaneously. The multi-device support feature is actually one of the most anticipated features of WhatsApp so far. The best thing about it is that you don’t need to have your phone (basically, your primary device) connected to the internet if you’re chatting from another device (such as a PC or a Mac).
Other improvements that are expected to come soon as well are improvements in the login process that are aimed to make it faster, so you spend less time waiting for messages to be downloaded on another device.
Keep in mind, though, that some features of WhatsApp will likely remain unavailable on WhatsApp Web for now. These are link preview, monitoring live location, stickers, and other features like that but the company will be working on bringing them with subsequent releases as well.
WhatsApp multi-device: what is it and how to use it
Basically, as the name of the feature rightfully suggests, it makes it possible for you to connect more than one device to your account: up to four additional devices (five in total, if we count in your phone). Previously though, even if you wanted to chat from a PC, your phone needed to be connected to the internet, otherwise, it won’t work.
In case you’re curious as to why that was, pretty much, the reason is the end-to-end encryption. Before the multi-device feature, in order to have end-to-end encrypted chats, WhatsApp had one identity key for your account which was stored on your phone. In case your phone ran out of battery or was not connected to the internet, the service would be unable to establish end-to-end encrypted chat, so it just wouldn’t let you chat.
However, with this new change, every device that you connect to your WhatsApp account will have its own identity key for end-to-end encryption, so you won’t need to have your phone connected at all times to chat from another device.
In order to connect your PC or Mac to your WhatsApp account, first, you need to download the WhatsApp app for your device. Then, you need to go to Settings > Linked devices on iOS, or the three dots menu > Linked devices on Android. After that, you will need to scan the code shown on your PC, Mac, or WhatsApp web with your phone. The connection should happen after that! (Keep in mind for this process, you need both the phone and the additional device connected to the internet).
Once you’ve connected your additional device, you will be able to use WhatsApp on your PC or Mac the same way you use it on your phone.