Following several months of testing, WhatsApp has finally rolled out multi-device support that allows users to link several devices to their account for simultaneous use, without requiring the primary smartphone to remain connected to the internet. You can update WhatsApp on iPhone and Android to start using this feature now.
WhatsApp’s multi-device support replaces WhatsApp Web. Using this, secondary devices such as computers will be able to send and receive messages on WhatsApp even when the primary smartphone associated with the account is offline. This is possible because each secondary device linked to a WhatsApp account communicates with WhatsApp servers independently now. WhatsApp Web used to connect the computer to the primary smartphone that would then communicate with WhatsApp servers.
To enable this feature, you will need to opt into the multi-device beta. This will unlink all your devices but once you re-link with them, they will be able to communicate with WhatsApp servers independently. The best part is that messages and calls are still end-to-end encrypted and you could use the same account from different devices simultaneously. For instance, you could continue using WhatsApp on a linked device if your phone’s battery runs out or if you lose it.
However, there are some downsides too. Linked devices will be able to send and receive messages for only up to 14 days after the primary smartphone goes offline. Another limitation is that tablets or smartphones cannot be linked as secondary devices even in the version being rolled out globally. Thankfully, WhatsApp is reportedly working on an iPad app. Another disadvantage for iPhone users is that you cannot delete messages or conversation threads from a linked device.
Do you think that despite its limitations, WhatsApp’s multi-device support will help you use the app more effectively?