WhatsApp has announced it will soon launch new features that allow users of WhatsApp Web and Desktop to use its chat application without an active phone.
Currently, when using WhatsApp on a laptop, computer or tablet, one has to keep a secure connection to a smartphone. This has been a huge annoyance if the phone is out of battery, lost or broken.
There’s no way to check your messages without an active phone and downloading chats and photos on a second device can be slow.
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Last week the Facebook-owned firm announced it will be adding multi-device support. This will enable one to use WhatsApp on up to four devices at once, plus a phone.
The delay was because WhatsApp wanted to make sure it was protecting users’ privacy when switching devices.
All messages and other data like stickers, archived chats, new contacts and starred messages, will be synchronised seamlessly between all your devices. WhatsApp users will also be able to start and answer calls from any device.
The company said each extra device will get its own unique security ID, all linked to your identity.
WhatsApp said you will still need to link each one by scanning a QR code on your phone. There will also be the option to require a fingerprint or face-scanning authentication.
You will be able to easily see all the devices linked to your account when they were last used, and log out of each remotely.
As an extra measure, a new technology called Automatic Device Verification will reduce the number of times you need to carry out identity verifications like security codes.
The new feature is being tested with a small group of users before being rolled out more widely.