WhatsApp is currently testing a new feature that will allow users to send messages without having to use their phone.
WhatsApp is currently tied to a user’s phone. That gadget must be connected and receiving messages in order for its desktop and web apps to work. Users will be able to send and receive messages “even if your phone battery is dead” with the new feature. WhatsApp claims that up to four different devices, such as PCs and tablets, can be utilized simultaneously.
The new feature will first be made available to a “limited set of people” as a beta test, with the team hoping to improve performance and add features before making it available to everyone. End-to-end encryption, which is a key selling point for WhatsApp, will continue to work under the new architecture, according to the company.
Several other messaging applications, like rival encrypted program Signal, which requires a phone to sign up but not to send or receive messages, already have such a function. However, WhatsApp users – estimated to number in the billions – have been requesting the feature for some time.
Facebook developers said the modification required a “rethink” of WhatsApp’s software design in a blog post announcing the shift. The reason for this is that the present version “makes the phone the source of truth for all user data and the sole device capable of end-to-end encrypting messages for another user [or] initiating calls,” according to the company.
WhatsApp Web and other non-smartphone apps function as a “replica” of what happens on the phone. However, many regular users are aware of the system’s significant flaws, such as the web app’s tendency to disconnect.
It also means that only one “companion app” can be open at a time, therefore loading WhatsApp on a different device will cause a WhatsApp web window to close.
“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 company said.
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