Believe it or not, WhatsApp didn’t support multiple devices before this summer, requiring your phone to be turned on and connected to the web at all times — even when using the web client to send messages. While that’s no longer necessary, the app is still incapable of allowing you to message from more than one mobile device. If you’ve been feeling the limitations of “partner” devices over the last few months, there’s finally a sign that true multi-support is coming to WhatsApp.
As spotted by WABetaInfo, “multi-device 2.0” is now under development, and although you can’t try it for yourself, it’s already in early beta builds. With this upgrade, you’ll be able to boot the client from a second mobile device without any issues. Based on the screenshot below, WhatsApp downloads your messages to a new device using the same splash screen displayed in the web and desktop apps.
According to this report, you won’t need to keep your primary phone connected to the web — the app downloads everything directly from its server, keeping messages encrypted as it syncs your inbox. Unfortunately, WABetaInfo could not confirm if this is indeed designed for smartphones or if the company will restrict it to working on tablets. While there’s no evidence WhatsApp won’t include phones in this update, it’s entirely possible the company still wants its users’ mobile phone count to stay limited.
We don’t know when this feature will be ready for primetime, but with any luck, it won’t be too long until WhatsApp supports all of your devices — no matter how many you own.