WhatsApp’s anticipated multi-device support will first arrive in beta on the WhatsApp Web, desktop, and Portal clients ahead of its debut for users on Android and iPhone, according to a report. It would allow the instant messaging app to test the new development on a small group of users before bringing it to the masses. Multi-device support on WhatsApp has been a part of the rumour mill for some time. WhatsApp head Will Cathcart and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed its existence in their reported conversation with a beta tracker earlier this month.
WABetaInfo has posted a screenshot suggesting early release of multi-device support on WhatsApp for WhatsApp Web, desktop, and Facebook Portal. The screenshot says that after linking accounts with the Web, desktop, and Portal, users will no longer be needed to stay online on their phones. The WhatsApp beta tracker’s report also mentions that up to four additional devices along with one phone could be used at once through multi-device support. This means that the new offering would allow users to connect up to five devices on WhatsApp simultaneously.
Users appear not to be able to communicate (neither message nor call) with people using an outdated version of WhatsApp on their phones. This suggests that both sides would require the latest version of the app in order to enable multi-device support. This may cause issues for those unable to get an updated WhatsApp version on their devices due to a dated operating system.
The screenshot shared by WABetaInfo also included the point that multi-device support would initially affect “performance and quality”. However, the initial shortcomings are likely to be fixed over time. WhatsApp is also speculated to eventually allow its users on Android and iPhone devices to enable multi-device support from their end. This will broaden the scope of the new experience and make it useful for people who want to stay connected on WhatsApp irrespective of the device they carry.
Earlier this month, Will Cathcart and Mark Zuckerberg in their reported conversation with WABetaInfo talked about multi-device support, among other new features in the works. The executives suggested it may debut within a two months time frame. The experience has, however, been rumoured since at least April 2020.