WhatsApp has recently introduced a new feature that allows users to use their WhatsApp account on multiple devices. This feature has been long-awaited and is now finally available for both Android and iOS users.
Previously, users could only use their WhatsApp account on one Android or iOS smartphone at a time, but with the ability to extend it to your tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. This required that your smartphone be your main WhatsApp device and the others would be linked via WhatsApp Web or the official WhatsApp Mac app. This solution worked great for many, however, you still could not use the app in more than one phone and needed to unlink and relink your account any time you wanted to switch mobile devices, which was inconvenient and time-consuming for many users.
Now, with the new update recently announced via the WhatsApp blog, you will be able to seamlessly switch between devices without any hassle. This is great news for those that frequently switch between phones, such as between Android and iOS, or who have both a business and a personal device.
To use this feature, you will still need to designate a primary phone, just as you've been able to do in the past with up to four devices, except now one of those linked devices can be a secondary or backup phone. On your secondary phone, open WhatsApp and tap Agree & Continue, followed by selecting "link this device to an existing account." This will provide you with a QR code that will need to be scanned by your primary phone.
One of the great things about this feature is that your messages and other data are end-to-end encrypted and stored locally on each device. This means that your conversations are still private and secure, even when you are using multiple devices. However, there are some limitations.
A few of the limitations include the lack of live location and status features on companion phones. Additionally, if you fail to use your primary phone for over 14 days, your companion phones will be logged out as they depend on the primary phone for the connection. Lastly, linked companion phones will always show the message "This is a linked device. Learn more" in Settings.
This update has already begun to roll out to users worldwide, and should be accessible to everyone in the next weeks. In addition, over the next several weeks, WhatsApp will be rolling out a new way to link companion devices, which involves the use of a one-time code instead of a QR code.