WhatsApp trials multi-device mode to free users from its smartphone app

By Arya M Nair, Intern Reporter
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WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messenger app, has announced the start of a trial to free its users from their smartphone dependency to use the platform.

The new feature would allow the wildly popular service to be accessed on several “non-phone” devices without the need to connect to the WhatsApp app on their smartphones.

WhatsApp can already be used on “companion devices,” such as desktops as Whatsapp Web, but exchanges are routed in such a way that it won’t operate if a person’s smartphone is turned off or has no charge. Other issues can arise as well, such as frequent disconnection.

The new WhatsApp multi-device design eliminates these barriers by eliminating the need for a smartphone for every action. According to Facebook, the new feature will be expanded more broadly when it is upgraded.

All chats in the new feature will remain end-to-end encrypted. This means that regardless of whether a user sends a message from an Android phone or an iPhone, as part of multi-system support, all WhatsApp chats will be encrypted and hence secure.

The chat history would still be maintained on the parent device, the phone, rather than on the company’s servers, according to the blog, and synchronization of chats would take place from server to device 1 and 2 and so on, rather than across connected devices.

In May, WhatsApp has been reportedly preparing the release of a UWP (Universal Windows Platform) app with a new multi-platform system that would allow WhatsApp to work without an active mobile connection on users’ desktop (PC).

Related: WhatsApp may soon allow users to share high-resolution videos


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