WhatsApp users no longer have to limit their use of the app to a single device. The Meta-owned messaging app announced today that the multi-device feature, which allowed users to send and receive messages on additional Android tablet devices, web browsers or computers along with their primary phone, will now be expanded to include additional smartphones. The service says that the feature will be available to all users in the next few weeks.
After a new installation of WhatsApp, you can set up a second phone for your account. Instead of entering your phone number and logging into the app as you normally would, you tap on a “link to existing accounts” option. The QR code will be generated and can then be scanned on your main WhatsApp phone using the “link a Device” option. This new feature is available on both iOS and Android.
WhatsApp touts the feature as an important tool for small business owners who may want to allow multiple employees to receive and send messages using the same number from different phones. It’s useful for those who use multiple smartphones regularly and want them to all be linked with the same WhatsApp account.
The “primary” phone is the one that was used to log in to your account. However, you don’t have to turn it on for your other devices, Android tablets or computers to receive your messages. WhatsApp claims that if you don’t use your primary device for more than 14 days, it will log out all of your other devices. You can manually log out connected devices from your main phone.
You can access and send WhatsApp messages on either device once a second phone has been linked to your account. You can sync up to a full year’s worth of messages between devices. This allows you to view chat histories prior to sending new messages. Messages are synced across all devices, regardless of the operating system.
It was possible to use workarounds in the past to access the same WhatsApp on multiple phones by using WhatsApp Web. The experience with the feature has not been good, but it should be much more useful and seamless.
Messages sent to multiple devices are encrypted from end to end.