Facebook is gearing up to push out a trial version of WhatsApp’s new multi-device support via an upcoming beta. As previously reported, this new feature would allow users to link their primary account to four different devices. However, there are some limitations in play.
Based on an early look of the beta by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp will only allow linking to devices connected via the desktop and web versions of the service, as well as on Facebook’s Portal application. These include laptops and computers (Macs included), but not mobile phones or tablets. The latter being the more desired option as users have been asking for a way to carry over their chats to a secondary smartphone without having to only use WhatsApp on one handset at a time. Further adding to the inconvenience is the inability to transfer chat backups from Android to iOS and vice versa, due to the different cloud storage services that are exclusive on each platform.
Cons aside, there is one worthwhile quality-of-life addition that the company is introducing in the upcoming beta. As promised by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg prior to this, WhatsApp will have the ability to allow users to seamlessly continue conversations or make calls via linked devices, even when their smartphone is off or not connected to the internet. The current version of the app’s desktop and web extensions are not entirely stable in this regard, where connectivity with a user’s phone is sometimes cut off due to poor connection or other factors. Suffice to say, this new feature would hopefully remedy this issue.
WABetaInfo believes that a future version of WhatsApp’s multi-device support will feature the ability to link other smartphones. In a separate discovery, the publication says that Facebook is also currently working on a “Log Out” option for the private messaging service’s main app. While this may sound unimpressive for some, the main point of interest of this reported feature is that it replaces the “Delete My Account” option in WhatsApp’s Account page.
If we are to speculate, this could mean that the app will no longer lock your account to a single phone number, and would allow you to sign in on another smartphone by simply verifying your credentials. Should this be the case, it would most likely involve using your Facebook account as one of the potential login options. Right now it is anyone’s guess as to whether WhatsApp will let users seamlessly carry over existing chats and even media files to another smartphone via this method.
Despite receiving a first look, WABetaInfo did not mention when the beta is planned to be rolled out. It is quite possible that the public version of the trial would still be released to iOS and Android users in another month or two, as previously noted by WhatsApp head executive Will Cathcart.