WhatsApp will now let users link up to four iOS or Android devices to one account without compromising privacy.
A number of WhatsApp beta users have reported that the app is rolling out multi-device beta support to all users on iOS and Android. The feature allows WhatsApp users to sync up to four linked devices without users needing to be connected via a smartphone.
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The new feature can be found in the mobile app’s Settings, where users can select Multi-Device Beta within the Linked Devices List and then tap on Join Beta to begin linking devices. Users on both iOS and Android will, however, need to have joined the multi-device beta, beforehand.
Once devices are linked, users will be able to send and receive messages using the WhatsApp desktop app or the web-based service. Contrary to the updates we have already seen in this direction, a user’s phone will no longer need to stay online.
Note also that if a linked device has not been used for longer than 14 days, it will automatically be disconnected from the main account.
Furthermore, it might also be possible to delete messages or conversation threads from a linked device, though this capability has not yet been confirmed.
Another important aspect to keep in mind is that using a multi-device setup messages and calls from the web, desktop, or Portal can only be shared with users who have an up-to-date version of the WhatsApp app. In addition, users will be able to have only one phone connected to a single WhatsApp account at a time.
According to WhatsApp, multi-device support will not hinder privacy in any way, as personal calls and messages will remain end-to-end encrypted across devices.
However, it’s important to note that WhatsApp also cautions users that, given that the feature is still in beta, the performance and quality of its service may be affected. Of course, users can also leave the beta at any time.
Finally, WhatsApp has hinted at the fact that the release of multi-device support will bring plans for a dedicated iPad app a little closer to reality.
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