After many years of customer demand, the encrypted chat application owned by Facebook WhatsApp finally adds real support for several devices.
If previously all a user’s WhatsApp traffic had to be routed through their smartphone, regardless of the device they are on, the new limited public beta version sees the app allowing up to four non-phone devices to be used simultaneously even and without a phone in the mix.
This means that users can continue to access WhatsApp even when the phone’s battery runs out and they no longer have to deal with slow service due to the fact that all data is routed through the phone.
According to Facebook, this meant rethinking the architecture of the application, while maintaining confidentiality and end-to-end encryption.
“Each companion device will connect to WhatsApp independently, while maintaining the same level of privacy and security through end-to-end encryption that people who use WhatsApp have expected.
“Most importantly, we’ve developed new technologies to maintain end-to-end encryption while managing the synchronization of your data – such as contact names, chat archives, star messages, and more – across all devices.” , the company said in a blog post.
The new multi-device capability is being tested with an initial small group of existing beta testers and will have a slow launch on a larger scale.
WhatsApp has millions of users in Australia and, according to research giant Roy Morgan, WhatsApp is particularly popular among Australians born abroad.