WhatsApp will now let users sign in to their accounts from a secondary phone, just like you can use the same account on a PC or tablet. The new feature has just been announced and will roll out to users around the world over the coming weeks. WhatsApp users have been requesting the ability to use the same account from multiple devices for several years, and while it has been possible to use the popular messaging app through a Web browser or apps for PC, this is the first time that you will be able to link multiple smartphones. According to an official company blog post, users will be able to seamlessly continue message threads and access all their photos and other media from multiple devices without compromising security or privacy.
Up to four additional smartphones can be linked to the user’s WhatsApp account, and only the primary phone can be used to authorise other devices. The process is just like authorising WhatsApp Web – users will have to scan a QR code, though the company also says it is working on an OTP-based authentication system as an alternative.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the feature in the official broadcast channel. One possible situation that this might come in handy is when a user’s phone battery is about to die. The company imagines that the ability to sign in from a friend’s or companion’s device might be of use in a situation where staying in touch or retrieving information from a message thread is important. Another possible scenario is for small business owners to authorise employees to answer official business communications, allowing for quicker and more responsive customer support.
The company has also stated that if the primary phone on which an account is signed in is dormant for a while, all companion devices will automatically be signed out. This time window is currently 14 days for WhatsApp Web. As always, conversations use end-to-end encryption. Although companion devices are dependent on the primary one to sign in, their connections to WhatsApp servers are independent, so users can still get to their important information and conversations if they lose access to the primary device. The primary phone doesn’t even need to be turned on or have an active data connection for you to use your account through any linked device.
How to use a WhatsApp account on a second phone Open WhatsApp on the device you wish to use as a secondary one for your WhatsApp account. Open WhatsApp on your primary phone, and find the ‘Linked devices’ section in the Settings. Tap ‘Link a device’ Follow the instructions on screen to verify your identity if any ID check is set up. Your primary phone’s camera will be activated, use it to capture the QR code displayed on the secondary device.
That’s all you need to do. The process is just like setting up WhatsApp Web. The QR code contains unique identifying information that allows WhatsApp to verify that both devices belong to you and that you initiated the pairing, without making you type in long, convoluted passcodes.
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