WhatsApp will support chatting on a secondary phone or tablet

WhatsApp’s Linked Devices feature currently supports computers, but will soon let you link mobile devices to chat on multiple phones or a phone and a tablet.

A photograph of an iPhone laid back on a table edge, with the Messages apps folder showing icons for WhatsApp, Telegram, LINE, WeChat and Signal
Image credit: Adem AY / Unsplash
  • WhatsApp’s Linked Devices already supports computers as secondary devices
  • WhatsApp could let you use multiple phones or a phone and tablet combo
  • This feature is currently under development

Using your iPhone/iPad as secondary WhatsApp devices

A new WhatsApp feature in development would let you link mobile devices so you could chat on multiple phones or on your iPhone and iPad, using the same account.

WhatsApp’s Linked Devices feature is great for desktop users. With it, you can link up to four computers to a single phone and enjoy the same level of privacy and security on linked devices through end-to-end encryption. But Linked Devices imposes certain limitations. For instance, you cannot view live location on linked devices nor can you delete chats on linked devices if your primary device is an iPhone. The biggest downside is that Linked Devices does not support using WhatsApp on multiple mobile devices like an iPhone and an iPad.

That could change soon, according to the website WABetaInfo which discovered a screen in the latest WhatsApp beta for registering a “companion” device, the term that wasn’t used before in the WhatsApp settings. You would do this the same way Linked Devices work, by scanning a QR code that appears on a companion device with your main iPhone. There’s also a screen titled “Register Device as Companion” with tips on using WhatsApp on other mobile devices.

Mitchell Clark, The Verge:

Both screens have been found in the Android version of the app, which implies that the feature will support chatting on a secondary phone or tablet. At the moment it’s unclear if the feature will also be available on iOS if and when it launches, though there is precedent indicating it will. WhatsApp technically supports using your account on multiple devices already, via the Linked Devices feature, which currently only supports using computers as secondary devices. The feature is available on both iOS and Android.

WhatsApp lacks a native iPad app so it’s unclear how using WhatsApp on an iPhone and an iPad at the same time might work. With Linked Devices, for example, the iPad is treated as a desktop computer with a web browser that runs WhatsApp Web. Does that mean that Meta is working on a native WhatsApp iPad app? Who knows. If we had to speculate, we’d say that’s not very likely given Meta’s reluctance to create native apps for the iPad. Read: How to check if a phone number is on WhatsApp

WhatsApp is currently testing the ability to link mobile devices in WhatsApp beta for Android We’ll keep you posted and ping you when this feature expands to all users in a future update to WhatsApp. [App Store link]