WhatsApp: Users fit begin send messages from di mobile application without dia phones

WhatsApp logo close-up from a phone screen


WhatsApp dey test one new feature wey go let pipo message without using dia phone for di first time.

At present, WhatsApp dey linked to one user phone. Im desktop and web apps need dat device to dey connected and receive messages.

But di new feature go let users send and receive messages “even if your phone battery don die”.

Pipo fit use up to four other devices togeda – like PCs and tablets – WhatsApp tok.

To begin wit, dem go roll out di new feature as a beta test for one “small group of users”, and di team plan to improve performance and add features before dem go enable am for everybody to use.

End-to-end encryption – one key selling point for WhatsApp – go still work under dis new system, dem tok.

Several other messaging apps don already get dis kain feature, including rival encrypted app Signal, wey go require a phone for sign-up, but no be to exchange messages.

Tori be say millions of WhatsApp users bin don dey request for dis feature .

How di Whatsapp new feature go work?

For inside di blog post wia dem announce di move, Facebook engineers say di change need a “rethink” of WhatsApp software design.

Dat na because di current version “dey use smartphone app as di primary device, making di phone di source of truth for all user data and di only device capable of end-to-end encrypting messages for another user [or] initiating calls”, the company said.

WhatsApp Web and other non-smartphone apps be like “mirror” of wetin dey happun on di phone.

But dat system na significant drawbacks familiar to many regular users, as di web app dey known to frequently disconnect.

Dis also means say only one so-called “companion app” fit dey active at a time – so loading WhatsApp on another device go disconnect am from anoda WhatsApp web window.

“Di new WhatsApp multi-device architecture remove dis problem,

E no longer need a smartphone to be di source of truth, even as you still keep user data seamlessly and securely synchronised and private,” di company tok.

On one technical level, di solution dey give every device im own “identity key”, and WhatsApp keep a record of which keys belong to di same user account.

Dat means e no need to store messages on im own server, wey fit lead to privacy concerns.

But Jake Moore, one security specialist for anti-virus-company Eset, say dat no matter how robust di security is, having messages on more devices fit still be a concern.

“E go always get one malicious actor looking to create a workaround,” he tok.

“Domestic abusers and stalkers fit now get di potential of using dis new feature to dia advantage, by creating additional endpoints in order to capture any synchronised private communications.”

He also tok say social engineering be “ever-increasing” threat, and di responsibility lies wit di user to keep an eye out for potential misuse.

“E dey important say pipo dey aware of all di devices wey dey connected to dia account,” he warn.