WhatsApp simplifies connection on multiple devices

WHATSAPP. The famous instant messaging app is evolving with several new features to simplify the lives of its users. The highly anticipated multi-device mode is finally available… in beta for the moment.

In 2020, WhatsApp claimed nearly two billion active users around the world. After the controversy at the start of the year linked to the publisher’s desire to modify and impose new General Conditions of Use (in order to share certain data with the advertising network of its parent company Facebook), WhatsApp has seen many departures from users to more privacy-friendly apps like Telegram or Signal. However, the queen of messaging apps does not intend to stop there and has been offering some welcome new features since September 28, 2021.

Up to five devices logged into the same account

The most important novelty concerns all those who use the app not only on their smartphone but also on their computer (read our practical sheet WhatsApp on PC and Mac: use computer messaging). Until now, to enjoy WhatsApp on a PC or Mac, you had to keep the phone to which the account is attached nearby and keep it connected to the Internet. With the multi-device option, this is no longer the case. Still in beta for the moment, this function allows you to associate up to four additional devices to the same account without having to maintain a link with the mobile. It is therefore possible to exchange messages or initiate calls even if the smartphone is not connected to the Internet or simply turned off. Please note: only computers using the Desktop version of WhatsApp or the online service are affected. WhatsApp Web. Tablets are not supported with this method. Pity.

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The multi-device option is also subject to some constraints for the moment. The quality of the media (photos and videos) transmitted can be degraded just like the calls. In addition, it will not be possible to reach users with a very old version of WhatsApp (the publisher does not specify the version number). To take advantage of this new function – let us remember it again in beta for the moment – simply go to the settings of the app then, from the menu Connected devices, Choose Multi-device beta > To rejoin. All that remains is to associate the desired computers with the usual method based on the use of a QR Code.

Group calls made easy

WhatApp also inaugurates a very practical function for all those who lead audio or video conversations with several people. It allows new participants to be added to a group call while it is in progress. This will allow you to invite other people to a conversation even if the call has already started. A welcome improvement for inviting a friend or colleague to an ongoing discussion, and one that heads-in-the-air will appreciate. This function is available for WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business, the variation of the app for professionals offered for iOS and Android.

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Finally, it should be noted that these new features are added to the small improvements that WhatsApp has recently made to its application, already available for a few weeks. Some, like the possibility of using 217 new emojis on the Android, are anecdotal. But others are a little more interesting: this is the case of the management of ephemeral messages, which offers a little more flexibility since it is now possible to define a destruction period by choosing among three options (24 hours, 7 days or 90 days). Nothing revolutionary, but a welcome small improvement that allows WhatsApp to catch up a little bit behind some competitors on this point.

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