WhatsApp is launching a new feature that allows users to send and receive messages without their phones.
Normally, WhatsApp must be connected to a phone to use on a computer, but now it allows users to use up to four other devices at the same time, such as PCs and tablets, without the phone being connected.
This new feature will be introduced as a beta test for a small group of users, while the team plans to improve performance and add new features before it is available to all.
End-to-end encryption – a key selling point for WhatsApp – will also work with this new system.
WhatsApp Web and other non-smartphone apps are actually a “mirror” of what happens on the phone, but this system has significant drawbacks that are familiar to many users, as the web app is known to frequently cut off connections.
According to Facebook’s own messaging app, the new WhatsApp architecture for multiple devices removes these hurdles by eliminating the need for the smartphone as the source of truth, while user data remains seamlessly and securely synchronized and private.
At a technical level, the solution gave each device its own “identity key,” and WhatsApp keeps a record of which keys belong to the same account.
This means that it does not have to store messages on its own server, which could lead to privacy issues.
However, it is the responsibility of the user to keep an eye on potential misuse.
For more information, read the original story in the BBC.