WhatsApp multi-device beta rolling out without the phone connected

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WhatsApp Multi-Device

Facebook Engineering team has announced the new multi-device connectivity of WhatsApp. Citing the highly-demanded feature, WhatsApp will now not require a smartphone connection for use on other devices.

The rollout of the new feature will be available to the limited public beta testers. Users, already in the beta program, will see an option to join the beta test of WhatsApp multi-device capability.

WhatsApp has long allowed you to use your messaging on your desktop via WhatsApp Web or WhatsApp Desktop. You could even connect multiple devices with your phone but only one would be usable at one time, in addition to the phone.

WhatsApp Multi-Device Not Allowed
Currently, WhatsApp disconnects all devices if a new device is connected.

The new multi-device feature will allow you to simultaneously use WhatsApp on up to four other devices in addition to your primary phone. Other devices include non-phone platforms, web, desktop, or Facebook’s Portal devices.

Currently, WhatsApp on the web, PC, Mac or Portal requires an always-connected smartphone app on the phone. All the experience on a secondary device (or companion device) goes through a secure connection directly with the primary phone app by mirroring its content on its own UI.

WhatsApp Legacy Architecture

Facebook iterates that this architecture easily delivers a synchronized experience between the primary phone and the secondary device “without compromising security”. However, due to the phone performing all the operations, the experience on the secondary device usually slows down. In fact, it frequently gets disconnected “when the phone has a poor connection or its battery is running low” or the phone’s operating system kills the background process of WhatsApp.

With the new infrastructure in place, WhatsApp will now not require the primary phone to stay connected to the internet. The user data will keep seamless and securely synchronized through end-to-end encryption through all channels.

WhatsApp Multi-Device Architecture

What took this feature more than a year to accomplish was to maintain the secure user experience across devices “without storing users’ private messages on our servers,” mentions Facebook in the blog post.

As mentioned above, this limited beta feature will be available to the users who are already in WhatsApp’s beta program. The team is still working on improving the performance of this feature, it may rollout along with several other features sooner or later.

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