WhatsApp plans to fix its biggest flaw, the Facebook-owned company confirmed. In the coming months, WhatsApp will begin testing support for multiple devices for the first time – with a global launch following a successful public beta.
What’s so exciting about it? It looks like WhatsApp accounts are tied to your phone number and cannot leave this device. While WhatsApp has released messaging apps for Windows and Mac, these are essentially just a container for WhatsApp Web. For this reason, unlike the Mac version of Facebook Messenger, for example, you occasionally need to scan a QR code from your phone in order to use WhatsApp on your PC. It also explains why WhatsApp Web lacks most of the functionality of the smartphone version of the app – as everything is passed between your phone and PC, excluding video calls.
You also need to make sure that your phone has enough battery. As soon as your smartphone fails with WhatsApp installed, you will lose access to WhatsApp Web, WhatsApp on Windows and Mac. Given that WhatsApp is by far the most popular messaging platform in the world (2.5 billion active users and more …) and many of its closest competitors have already resolved this dilemma, it is baffling that it took so long Has.
However, WhatsApp has confirmed to Finals that it is close to real multi-device support. In theory, this should allow WhatsApp to replicate functionality we’ve seen from other messaging services like iMessage, where users can reply to a text message from their iPad, add a photo to the same thread from their laptop, and then take a call on theirs Smartphone or your smartwatch.
Though WhatsApp didn’t directly confirm that an iPad version of WhatsApp was in development (though from those leaked screenshots it seems impossible to believe it’s not nearly done yet), the messaging company confirmed that support for several Devices an iPad would make app possible.
WhatsApp confirmed its upcoming roadmap in an interview with WABetaInfo – a blog that specializes in finding clues about unannounced features by scouring the latest beta releases that have been sent to developers. WABetaInfo sat down to chat with Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and WhatsApp boss Will Cathcart.
WhatsApp boss Will Cathcart confirmed that beta versions of support for multiple devices would be “in the next month or two”. Android users can sign up for the beta to get the latest features before they’re done. Given the scope of this feature, anyone who is regularly unable to join a video call from their tablet or PC should consider signing up for multiple device support before it becomes available to everyone.
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg stressed that using WhatsApp across a range of different devices would not compromise end-to-end encryption.
“It will still be end-to-end encrypted,” explained Zuckerberg. “It has been a major technical challenge to properly sync all of your messages and content across all of your devices, even if your phone is running out of battery, but we have solved the problem and look forward to bringing it out soon.”
The news comes as WhatsApp tracked threats to restrict users who failed to agree to the new terms and conditions, which some believed should allow Facebook to access some data from your WhatsApp messages. WhatsApp has denied this interpretation and launched a new charm offensive – with social media posts, pop-ups within the app – to convince users that their secure messages can be trusted.