WhatsApp’s cross-device support is no longer in beta. The “Linked Devices” feature as it is called in WhatsApp’s settings section was in beta or test mode so far. Users had to join the beta program to try out the feature. Interestingly, WhatsApp earlier revealed that since the beta feature was introduced, it had “seen an increase in people accessing” the service directly through their web browser.
Cross-device functionality allows users to access WhatsApp on four other devices such as their laptops or desktops through WhatsApp Web, excluding their primary phone, without worrying about internet connectivity on the primary phone . Now they are no longer dependent on their primary phone to continue using WhatsApp Web.
With this feature, users will be able to access WhatsApp on a total of five devices simultaneously. WhatsApp also indicates that the phone does not need to stay online to use WhatsApp on linked devices. However, if you don’t use your phone for more than 14 days, the linked devices will be disconnected.
Here’s how cross-device support works on WhatsApp:
- Open web.whatsapp.com on a desktop or laptop browser. Keep in mind that WhatsApp has also launched a Code Verify extension to allow users to verify the authenticity of the code they scan. Read more details here.
- On an Android device, tap the three-dot menu and you should see “Linked devices” as an option. On iOS, “Linked Devices” is available in Settings.
- Go to Paired devices. It will ask you to scan a code. Scan the code reflected on web.whatsapp.com. Make sure that both the phone and the laptop have access to a stable internet connection.
- Once the code is scanned, it will take a few minutes and WhatsApp Web will work on your laptop or desktop. The difference now is that it can work on its own without depending on your phone.
WhatsApp also said that the moment you connect your phone to another device, the device “sends an end-to-end encrypted copy of your most recent message history to your newly linked device.”
All messages are stored locally on it. However, not all messages are synced with WhatsApp Web or Desktop. Sometimes WhatsApp may tell you to go to your phone to see the full message history. WhatsApp has also listed an FAQ page highlighting features that are not supported in the “Linked Devices” feature.
These features are:
- Clearing or deleting chats on linked devices if the primary device is an iPhone.
- Text or call someone using a very old version of WhatsApp on their phone. Also, tablets are not supported.
- Ability to view live location on linked devices.
- Creation and display of mailing lists on linked devices.
- Sending messages with link previews from WhatsApp Web.
If you are unable to see linked devices on your iOS or Android device, make sure you have updated to the latest version of the app from the respective store. Restart WhatsApp once you’ve updated and the new functionality should reflect.