Prudence Pitch

10:56 03/12/2019 |

Total post : 1,458

WhatsApp is now a completely different beast from the one that quietly arrived for iPhone users

(Business) After Facebook shelled out around $20 billion to acquire the app in 2014, WhatsApp introduced voice calls, video calls, group calls, web and desktop apps, end-to-end encryption, and fingerprint unlocking. All the while, Facebook has been figuring out how to monetize its gargantuan acquisition by targeting businesses.



Given that WhatsApp is tethered to a user’s mobile number and all messages are stored locally on devices, rather than on remote servers, syncing and accessing WhatsApp across devices poses something of a challenge. WhatsApp Web allows users to message from their desktop computer, but by essentially mirroring their mobile device - one can’t work without the other. Moreover, WhatsApp Web lacks many of the features of the mobile app, such as voice and video calling.

With at least 1.5 billion users, WhatsApp is now thought to be Facebook’s biggest property. In fact, Sensor Tower data suggests that WhatsApp is often the most downloaded app globally in terms of first-time installs. But for those who regularly change devices, operate multiple devices, or are trying to wean themselves off the constant distractions smartphones are known for, the inability to seamlessly switch WhatsApp between devices is an issue.

Throughout 2019, perennial WhatsApp pontificator WABetaInfo has scoured beta releases and their underlying code and concluded that WhatsApp will soon allow users to access their WhatsApp account on multiple devices at the same time.

One indicator that WhatsApp is working on true multi-device support, according to WABetaInfo, stems from a new security feature the app is implementing. Whenever someone tries to register a new device to a WhatsApp telephone number the app sends a push notification to the original device, informing the user that a registration code has been requested, and a warning flashes inside WhatsApp itself.

Rival messaging app Telegram, for example, allows users to access their chats on multiple devices, but Telegram stores users’ messages in the cloud, which makes synchronizing between phones and tablets a little easier. It’s also worth noting that Telegram chats aren’t end-to-end encrypted by default. WhatsApp is developing a new method that would permit it to retain its end-to-end encryption while also allowing people to use their WhatsApp account on different devices at the same time.

WhatsApp has come a long way over the past 10 years, and for billions of people it is the default way to communicate with friends, family, and work colleagues. But given that many of us communicate using multiple devices - from PCs to phones, watches, and tablets - WhatsApp would be infinitely better if it could find a way to support our multi-device world.


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