WhatsApp appears to be finally adding the option to chat using multiple devices at once.
Unlike many of its competitors, WhatsApp still limits its users to one main device. That means that messages cannot be syncronised between different phones, and switching on WhatsApp on one device means logging out on another.
The company does offer the ability to send messages from another device, such as a computer, using WhatsApp Web. But that app is severely limited, requiring a constant connection to the phone, and having only limited features.
The new update could bring the ability to use the real WhatsApp on a variety of different devices, with messages syncing between them, according to leaks.
It could also finally give users a proper iPad app, which will be able to be used to send WhatsApp messages as normal.
The new feature was found by WABetaInfo, a Twitter account that tracks new WhatsApp features in early and unreleased versions of the app.
The account indicated that the feature is still under development, and as such there is no way to know for sure when it will arrive. It could also be cancelled before it is released to the public.
Yes, it's the ability to use your WhatsApp account from 4 devices at the same time.
Under development, but it's great!
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo)
The changes do however come as Facebook moves to more tightly integrate its chat platforms – such as Facebook Messenger and Instagram's direct messages – more closely together.
On other Facebook platforms, messages are more reliably synced across and users can chat from whichever device suits them best at any given moment.
The new updates to WhatsApp appear to move it towards such a setup, allowing users to send a message from their phone and then move to their tablet, picking up where they left off, for instance.