[Update: Multi-device beta] WhatsApp begins testing multi-device logins, improved search, chat clearing, more
With WhatsApp constantly evolving, new features such as the multi-device login support are long overdue. However, it looks as though the Facebook-owned firm has started testing this plus a ton of other features with the latest beta updates.
[Update 09/21]: Yet more information has been shared by WABetaInfo about multi-device WhatsApp logins. Previously spotted in the WhatsApp Beta update version 126.96.36.199, some are now seeing a “Linked devices” section that hints at a nearby release for this enhanced usability feature.
It appears that you’ll be able to opt-in to a Multi-device Beta that will let you link even without an internet connection. We’re not entirely sure how it will be able to sync messages across devices without a web connection but if it works, it works.
WABetaInfo suggests that you’ll be able to use up to 4 devices simultaneously when the Linked Devices feature does become available at some point in the future. They also suggest that when enabled, you won’t need to have your phone powered on — shedding some light on the “no internet connection required” stipulation.
As mentioned a lot of times, WhatsApp is developing the best feature ever: it will allow you to use the same WhatsApp account on 4 different devices at the same time.
What is the advantage? You won’t need an Internet connection on the main phone, so you can use WhatsApp Desktop when your phone is off, for example, or other devices.
WhatsApp is actually planning a new modern UI for the desktop client, showing how the chat history is migrated from your device and that the process is end-to-end encrypted.
They also hint that we’ll be able to see entire chat logs and chat history across devices, with the process being fully end-to-end encrypted for better overall privacy. Just what the multi-device login process will look like within WhatsApp is another question entirely though. We’re not yet seeing the option with the most recent beta update. However, if you are enrolled, now might be the time to check if you have the Linked Devices option available.
[Update 08/24]: More information has surfaced about the upcoming Storage Usage feature, courtesy of WABetaInfo. The upcoming Storage Usage feature should help you better manage how WhatsApp utilizes your smartphone storage space.
With some extra digging, WABetaInfo found new evidence of enhanced features like the ability to find forwarded and large files from chats and contacts. Essentially you will be able to instantly filter forwarded media and large files, making it easier to remove them from your device and free up precious storage.
The upcoming “Storage usage” menu will include a handy bar to give you a visual indicator of just what is clogging up your smartphone. You can still see just which chats are taking up the most of your internal storage too, with the contact image and name listed alongside the space used.
It’s worth noting that none of the features mentioned are yet “live” but active development is ongoing, meaning that we’ll likely see them in a future update.
[Update 08/10]: WABetaInfo has been at it again, this time unearthing some further details about the possible chat synchronization between device when multiple devices are logged into a WhatsApp account. It’s worth noting that the feature is still not yet available but work is currently ongoing to bring a pretty important option for those with more than one mobile device or tablet.
When connected to Wi-Fi it looks like you’ll be able to download and access recent messages across your linked devices. We already know that an arbitrary limit of 4 devices will be able to access your account. It’s not clear if this includes WhatsApp Web or if that is treated as a separate device in this instance.
It also looks as though once you have downloaded your messages to an access device, an internet connection won’t be needed to use the application. However, we’d imagine that the ability to send and receive messages will be blocked without an active data connection — be that mobile or Wi-Fi.
At present, the only evidence was found on the iOS version of WhatsApp but we still expect feature parity when it does rollout at some point soon. As for release date, we’re still unsure as work has been ongoing since early 2020 on the multi-device option. Expect to learn more over the coming months.
[Update 07/27]: More information has now been found by WhatsApp enthusiast WABetaInfo on the multiple device logins. The feature looks as though it will be known as “Linked devices” and will give you the ability to add and manage your connected devices. This looks as though it will be limited to just 4 devices this time around, although that might be more than enough for most people out there.
Facebook Portal is also mentioned, although this does bear an uncanny resemblance to the WhatsApp Web connection feature that lets you send and receive messages from one connected laptop, Mac or PC at a time.
Unfortunately, no other information has been found, but it looks like this feature is being tested at least on internal beta builds. We’d love to see it in action on multiple mobile devices but it’s clearly in the early stages of development.
Constant code-digger WABetaInfo has found a number of features being tested within the latest beta builds for iOS and Android. With probably the most interest, the multi-device login support is one feature that will really transform just how millions around the globe use the messaging platform. Not having to logout across devices would save a ton of frustration — something that we reviewers would also really appreciate too.
At the moment, you can only have one mobile device signed-in to WhatsApp, with a further PC, Mac or web browsers logged in. You can swap between these but, only one can be logged-in at a time. This makes seamless use difficult and switching devices frustrating at best, especially as the sign-in process is so convoluted and drawn-out.
We must stress that multi-device support is not user-facing within WhatsApp beta builds just yet. It will likely come in a future update, but WABetaInfo has found that it is being tested with up to four devices logged in simultaneously. This isn’t quite a high as services like Telegram but is still a heck of a lot better than the current two device limit.
Alongside this, it looks like WhatsApp will also get some other important search updates. You’ll soon be able to “search by date” when sifting through your existing conversations and group chats. This will make it much easier to find date-specific messages and images. Screenshots show the iOS version of this function but it will likely come to an Android beta channel update soon. Not only will you be able to search your messages via date, but we’ll also soon get the ability to search messages on the web. This is a nice little toggle that will allow you to search for message content using the in-app web browser.
This will also be joined by another enhanced Storage Usage feature that will allow you to view how much storage saved media occupies on your smartphone. This will be a complete overhaul of the current section dedicated to giving you storage information.
Another way future updates will improve the entire WhatsApp experience on mobile is the enhanced abilities when you want to clear entire chats. You will be able to clear all messages except for those that you have “starred”, which will make it much easier to delete messages you deem no longer necessary. This is a bit better than the basic “clear chat” option already available.
The last option to join the multi-device logins, enhanced Storage Usage, search, and chat clearing options within WhatsApp will be support for ShareChat video. The service might be little known outside of India but is a social network that includes chatrooms and more. While none of these options are yet user-facing, it’s an extensive number of changes that will undoubtedly improve the entire experience using the cross-platform messaging app.