The highly-anticipated WhatsApp multi-device support feature has officially been announced. The messaging platform — owned by Facebook — rolled out the feature to WhatsApp Beta users last week. As the name suggests, WhatsApp multi-device support allows you to use WhatsApp on multiple devices at once (four devices to be precise). This means that you can use WhatsApp on your Windows 10 desktop or any other linked device without the primary device around. Let us have a look at how WhatsApp multi-device capability is different from the currently available WhatApp Companion, how the latest feature works, and how to use WhatsApp multi-device support on your devices.
What is WhatsApp multi-device support?
As you may know, WhatsApp allows you to access your account on your desktop (Windows 10 and Mac) via app or web browser. This feature is widely known as WhatsApp Companion. It mirrors WhatsApp on your smartphone to desktop. However, the feature has one shortcoming — the desktop and the web clients of WhatsApp were dependent on the smartphone. Meaning that every action that you perform on WhatsApp for desktop and web goes through your smartphone. So, if your phone is dead, you can’t access WhatsApp on your desktop or web browser.
This is where WhatsApp’s new multi-device support fits in. It allows users to use the messaging app on multiple devices without relying on your primary device, i.e. the smartphone. Once you set up WhatsApp on your desktop or in your web browser using the multi-device capability, the service will keep working on its own. Every action that you perform on WhatsApp for desktop or web, will be carried out by the same client rather than contacting your phone for it. So, even if your phone is offline, WhatsApp will keep working on your desktop or web browser. Using this feature, you can carry out multiple tasks on WhatsApp at once. There is no doubt that WhatsApp multi-device capability will be appreciated by many.
Even if your phone is offline, WhatsApp will keep working on your desktop or web browser.
How to use WhatsApp multi-device support feature
As mentioned earlier, the WhatsApp multi-device capability is currently in the beta stage. Therefore, it can be accessed only by those users who have opted for the WhatsApp Beta programme. If you want to experience WhatsApp multi-device capability, here is a step by step process to sign up for the WhatsApp Beta programme and set up WhatsApp multi-device capability on your devices.
- Sign up for the WhatsApp Beta programme from these links: Android or iOS
- After signing up for the WhatsApp Beta programme, you will be prompted to update the WhatsApp app on your smartphone to the latest beta version. Update the app as instructed.
- After updating WhatsApp to the latest beta version, open the app and click on the three-dot icon which is located at the top-right corner of the app.
- Select on ‘Linked Devices’
- Tap on ‘Learn More’
- Click on ‘Join Beta’
- You will now be asked to scan the QR code.
- Open WhatsApp on your desktop or web. It will show you a QR code.
- Scan the QR code shown on your desktop or in your web browser using your smartphone.
- If you are using the WhatsApp desktop app, it’ll ask you to update it. Follow the instructions to update the app. Relaunch WhatsApp application on your desktop.
That’s it! You will now be able to use a WhatsApp account on your desktop/web independently of your smartphone
It’s worth mentioning that the WhatsApp multi-device support beta update is only live for Android users at the moment. The feature is not available on iPhone yet. Facebook claims that it had to change the whole architecture of WhatsApp to implement the WhatsApp multi-device capability. This feature, according to WhatsApp, has end-to-end encryption and it is as safe as using WhatsApp solely on your smartphone.
WhatsApp multi-device capability limitations
Since the WhatsApp multi-device capability is currently in the beta stage, there are some limitations and issues with this feature. For starters, you cannot message or call from the desktop, web, or Portal clients of WhatsApp to users who have an outdated version of the messaging app on their smartphones. Needless to say, the feature will also have some bugs and performance issues. We recommend that you take a backup of your chats before using the WhatsApp multi-device capability.
To leave WhatsApp multi-device support beta, go to your WhatsApp account on the smartphone –> select three-dots –> tap Linked devices –> choose ‘Multi-device beta’ and select ‘Leave Beta’.
When will WhatsApp multi-device feature roll out to the public?
WhatsApp has not announced when it plans to roll out the WhatsApp multi-device capability to the wider public too. However, considering that any new feature in WhatsApp Beta generally takes a few weeks to roll out to the public, we expect the WhatsApp multi-device capability to roll out to the public as early as August. But that is just our speculation and the actual rollout date might differ.