When it comes to messenger apps, WhatsApp remains the most popular on the planet.
While that is so, however, Facebook’s popular messenger app (not to be confused with another Facebook app, Messenger) still lags behind when it comes to one very important feature: the ability to use one’s account on multiple devices.
That one feature is one of the most pronounced feature omissions that the competition beats WhatsApp hands down. Rival messenger app Telegram lets users log in to as many devices as possible and provides them easy ways of removing old devices they may no longer be using from their active accounts. Messenger, too, lets users sign in on whichever device they are using.
WhatsApp? End of the road.
Citing security, WhatsApp has been adamant to let users sign in to the same account on multiple devices. When it eventually relented and introduced a web client a few years ago, users were still limited. On WhatsApp Web on browsers and desktop apps (on Windows and Mac), all that users do is simply mirror their mobile devices. Where one has no access to the device where they are signed in on WhatsApp, the mirroring is not possible, totally beating the entire purpose of desktop apps and access via browsers.
Going by changes spotted in beta versions of WhatsApp, this may be changing.
On version 2.20.110 of WhatsApp Beta, there are hints of multi-device support coming to WhatsApp, though not explicit.
When signing in to their WhatsApp account using a new device, recipients and other parties that one is conversing with on the platform will be notified of the addition of a new device to that person’s “device list”. The reference to a device list, at this point, is being interpreted by many as a pointer to WhatsApp letting users log in to their WhatsApp accounts on more than one device, something that isn’t possible at the moment.
When someone adds a new device in his WhatsApp account, you will be notified because encryption keys change.
Available in future for iOS and Android! pic.twitter.com/WqrM6cRHWW
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) March 24, 2020
While this may not be an immediate need of many of WhatsApp’s 2 billion users, it will certainly come in handy to many of us who have multiple devices and who have to endure the pain of doing backups and restoration every other time we switch devices.
For those with tablets that they use alongside their mobile phones, this should be a godsend.