Skip to main content

WhatsApp’s biggest restriction might finally be lifted soon

WhatsApp is considering making a change that could fix one of its most long-standing flaws. A feature known as Multi-device 2.0 will allow users to connect their WhatsApp accounts to two or more phones.

The report comes from WABetaInfo via an early look at the upcoming WhatsApp update. Currently, WhatsApp has a multi-device feature that allows a person to connect their phone to four other devices — including PCs, browsers, and other supported devices. Once enabled, you won’t need your phone active or online to send and receive messages.

Multi-device 2.0 would be a step further, allowing one to connect a second (or even more) smartphone to the WhatsApp service. It is expected that when the update is live, it will work as it does on the desktop. The secondary phone would sync your messages from WhatsApp’s servers, and you’ll be able to make calls and texts as if you were using your primary device without restriction.

WhatsApp chat transfer with Lightning to USB-C cable.

WhatsApp has typically limited itself to use on one device at a time. Even when the company allowed users to text on the web and desktop apps, it merely relayed messages between the phone and the computer rather than truly allowing them to act independently. The multi-device beta that rolled out earlier this year had gone some way toward resolving this, and this would help bridge the gap between WhatsApp and other messaging services.

In some ways, WhatsApp’s single-device setup can be described as an anachronism. Rival messaging services in Telegram Messenger and Facebook Messenger (inasmuch as Facebook can be said to compete with itself) have never had this problem. Users could always use more than one phone or tablet without needing a phone to act as a relay. It was inevitable that WhatsApp would go down this path, if not for competition, then for strategic reasons.

WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook, has committed to providing cross-service functionality with Instagram Direct and Facebook Messenger. While there has been no public progress on that front, early screenshots have shown the feature in action. Allowing WhatsApp to work on multiple phones is a very clear step forward towards that ultimate goal.

Editors' Recommendations

Michael Allison
A UK-based tech journalist for Digital Trends, helping keep track and make sense of the fast-paced world of tech with a…
You can finally move your WhatsApp chats from Android to iOS
WhatsApp and Telegram app icons.

Moving WhatsApp chats from Android to iOS has been a painful task for years. But not anymore, as Apple and WhatsApp have made the process a whole lot easier. Starting today, Apple is adding a feature that allows you to move chats between the two platforms. The feature is a part of Apple’s existing “Move to iOS” Android application. It’s worth noting that the feature is currently available for beta users only, so non-beta users might have to wait for a week or two as it's rolled out in phases.

This is a big move since 2 million people use WhatsApp and, until now, there wasn’t an official method to move conversations between Android and iOS. There have been third-party solutions here and there, but nothing officially backed by Apple or WhatsApp. With the feature becoming available, users will be able to move their chats swiftly from Android to iOS.

Read more
Facebook Messenger app adds calling, following WhatsApp’s lead
Facebook Messenger app with calling

Meta, Facebook's parent company, is rolling out the Calls tab to the Facebook Messenger app on Android and iOS. The move takes a page out of WhatsApp's playbook, making audio and video calls with friends and family a lot easier for Messenger users.

Not every Messenger user will see the Calls tab in the app immediately. But the lucky users who do will find it located between the Chats and People tabs on the lower bar on the app's screen.

Read more
WhatsApp to end support for older iPhones in coming months
WhatsApp messaging app icon.

If you’re still rocking a decade-old iPhone 5 or 5C and use WhatsApp, you should be aware that the Facebook-owned company will soon be ending support for those devices.

A WhatsApp notification spotted by WhatsApp specialist site WABetaInfo reveals that the company will end support for iOS 10 and iOS 11 in the fall. The iPhone 5 and 5C are unable to deploy iOS 12 and later, which means WhatsApp on those two handsets will stop receiving the latest updates for security, features, and general functionality.

Read more