We’ve been able to use one WhatsApp account on multiple devices for a while now. I don’t reach out for my phone when I’m at my computer, I use the Windows app when on there.
Messages sync across devices without a hitch and I’m a happy camper, whatever device I use, I pick up right where I left off. Except for the annoying bug that leads to me not seeing some Status updates on iOS, so I have to remind myself to check that tab on Windows. I’ve missed out on so many memes because of this.
That was all good but the actual multi-device support we wanted was not available till now – multiple smartphone support.
Zimbabwe is smartphone country, many in urban centres have multiple phones for multiple side hustles. They don’t usually need to use the same WhatsApp account on different phones though. It is businesses that will benefit the most from this support for multiple phones.
WhatsApp is a legit business tool in this country. Many have orders, invoices and other business-related queries coming in via WhatsApp. So, in many instances, multiple people need to keep track of the messages flowing in and responding to customers.
All the employees checking those messages have smartphones but only one could use a smartphone to respond. The others had to use linked computers or tablets. Not at all convenient and not even an option for some without computers to use for that purpose.
Use the same WhatsApp account on 4 phones
WhatsApp finally allows us to use the same account on as many as four phones. There will still be a primary smartphone and the other ones will be linked devices.
You will be able to use the other phones even if the primary one does not have a network connection or is even completely off. However, the primary phone has to go online at least once every 30 days to keep the linked devices working.
The feature is rolling out globally and may take a few weeks to reach your phone.
Do note this means that you can now have any combination of smartphones, computers or Android tablets. There is still no native support for the iPad and so if you want to use that, you still have to resort to a web login from the browser.
Apparently, it wasn’t easy to enable this kind of multi-device support. The original setup had the primary smartphone as the source of truth for all user data and the only one that actually encrypted messages.
Linked devices (companion devices) merely mirrored the primary smartphone hence why they needed that phone to be online.
WhatsApp’s new architecture does away with that. Now, all devices can connect to WhatsApp independently.
In all this, it’s amazing to think that WhatsApp still doesn’t save our messages on their servers. Any linked device has to reach out to the other connected devices and update itself on what happened when it was offline.
So go ahead and enjoy WhatsApp on four phones. You deserve it.