Your WhatsApp will soon sync across 4 different devices – even if your phone’s off

WhatsApp is bringing multi-device support out. Finally. (WhatsApp)
WhatsApp is bringing multi-device support out. Finally. (WhatsApp)

You might soon be able to use WhatsApp on your computer or another device while your phone is switched off.

The company is testing a new version of the software that will allow users to register their account on up to three devices as well as their phone.

At the moment, users can only use a web-based version of the app on other devices when their phone is switched on and connected to the internet.

The new feature is currently being beta tested by a small number of users.

Multi-device use is one of the app’s most-requested features. But actually developing it has required rethinking how the app works.

The company wrote in a newly-published white paper: ‘We had to rethink WhatsApp’s architecture and design new systems to enable a standalone multi-device experience while preserving privacy and end-to-end encryption.

‘Each message is individually encrypted using the established pairwise encryption session with each device. Messages are not stored on the server after they are delivered.’

It’s not clear exactly when the company plans to roll out the feature to more users, but it plans to introduce it as a beta option for a small number of users over the coming months, according to Tech Crunch.

The WhatsApp application seen displayed on a Apple MacBook
You’ll be able to put WhatsApp on up to four devices (Getty)

A WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement: ‘By requiring the phone to perform all operations, companion devices are slower and frequently get disconnected — especially when the phone has a poor connection, its battery is running low, or the application process gets killed by the phone’s OS.

‘It also allows for only a single companion device to be operative at a time, meaning people can’t be on a call in Portal while checking their messages on their PC, for example.

‘The new WhatsApp multi-device architecture removes these hurdles, no longer requiring a smartphone to be the source of truth while still keeping user data seamlessly and securely synchronized and private.’

The new feature is one of a number of projects WhatsApp is currently working on. The company is developing self-deleting pictures and videos — features already available on rival apps like Instagram and Signal — as well as an iPad app.

MORE : WhatsApp is really trying to prove it cares about your privacy

MORE : Mark Zuckerberg confirms WhatsApp is getting Snapchat-style features

Tags
Tech Social media Whatsapp