Whatsapp Group Message on iPhone XSource: Luke Filipowicz/iMore

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp is now testing multi-device support with beta testers.
  • The feature isn't available to all testers yet, but continues to roll out.

Hugely popular instant messaging app WhatsApp is now beta testing a feature that people have long been crying out for. Those on the current iOS beta of the app have begun to notice a new feature — multi-device support.

According to a new report by beta watchers WABetaInfo, those who have the latest TestFlight beta installed have begun to notice a new option relating to multi-device support, although it isn't yet available to all.

WhatsApp is finally releasing the multi-device beta program for more iOS beta users today! Thanks to multi-device, you can use WhatsApp Web, WhatsApp Desktop and Portal without an Internet connection on your main phone. WhatsApp is still partially rolling out the feature for specific users, so it's possible your WhatsApp account is not eligible yet. You can verify if multi-device is enabled for your WhatsApp account opening WhatsApp Settings > Linked Devices (previously called "WhatsApp Web/Desktop"): if you see a new row called multi-device, it means you can finally join the beta program!

However, there are some caveats that should be noted. Not all features are currently working as they should, including live locations, pinned chats, and more.

  • Pinned chats: they aren't immediately synced, so you need to manually search for them the first time in order to show them up.
  • Live locations: they might not be visible on linked devices.
  • If you join the beta program on WhatsApp Business, your business name and labels cannot be modified from WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp Desktop.
  • You cannot chat and call people having an old WhatsApp version on their phone, from WhatsApp Web/Desktop. Just tell them to update WhatsApp from the Google Play Store or App Store.

While WhatsApp has long allowed people to use its service via the web and desktop apps, an iPhone running the WhatsApp app was required to be turned on and have an internet connection for everything to work. With proper multi-device support enabled, that requirement is no longer in place.

There's no telling when multi-device support will be made available to everyone beyond the current beta, but we can only hope it isn't too much longer for us to wait! WhatsApp is already one of the best iPhone apps around for people who want to communicate with people who don't use iPhones. Proper multi-device support will just drive that point home.