It’s the news WhatsApp fans have been waiting for. At last, you can use WhatsApp on more than one phone without signing out and in again.
We originally wrote about the possibility of using WhatsApp on more than one device a little over three years ago, so this has been a long time coming.
It was only in 2022 that WhatsApp officially rolled out the ability to message from various devices even if you didn’t have your main phone with you.
Now, multi-device finally allows you to link extra phones to your main one instead of being limited to adding almost anything that wasn’t a phone.
As you’d expect, using the app on multiple phones still gives your messages (and calls, photos, videos, voice recordings) the same end-to-end encryption they have on all the other devices that WhatsApp supports. You’ll still have one main phone, and one number associated with your account, but you’ll be able to send and receive messages on other phones just as you can from Windows, a web browser or a tablet.
There’s still the same limit of four additional devices as before, making it five in total with your main phone.
WhatsApp says that if your primary device is inactive for a long period (which means 14 days), you’ll be automatically logged you out of all companion devices. This means it’s not ‘true’ multi-device support, but it won’t be a problem for the vast majority of people and it’s the same whether you link extra phones, laptops or tablets.
The news isn’t only welcome for those who have one personal and one work phone. This update is also good news for small business owners because employees can now use the company WhatsApp account to respond to customers from their own phones.
You may or may not have the update yet as it’s being rolled out across the globe right now. WhatsApp says it will be available everywhere “in the coming weeks”.
There’s another new feature which should be available at the same time: the ability to link a companion device by entering the phone number of your account. Doing that will send a code to the number, which can then be used to link the second device. That’s much easier than scanning a QR code when you don’t have the primary phone to hand, but can get the code from someone who has the phone.
This will be just for linking extra phones, but WhatsApp plans to add support for other types of devices later on.