Social messaging platform WhatsApp, owned by Meta, has rolled out a new feature, ‘companion mode,’ to all Android users, following high demand for the feature.
The feature was initially launched to beta testers two weeks ago and is now available to everyone on the latest stable version of WhatsApp from the Google Play Store.
The feature, which was first launched for beta testers two weeks ago, allows up to four additional devices to link to the primary device, independently connecting to WhatsApp with end-to-end encryption. This ensures users’ messages and calls remain private and secure.
Improved Multi-Device Feature
The companion mode feature is an upgrade to the multi-device feature launched last year, which enabled users to message across all their devices while ensuring the same level of privacy and security.
With the new update, users can link their phone to up to four additional devices, similar to linking with WhatsApp on web browsers and desktop apps.
Each linked phone connects to WhatsApp independently, ensuring end-to-end encryption for messages and calls.
WhatsApp has also added an automatic log-out feature, which logs users out of all companion devices if the primary device has been inactive for a long time. However, WhatsApp has not specified the period of inactivity needed.
How to Link Your Device to an Additional Phone
To link your device to an additional phone, users can download the latest WhatsApp Messenger or WhatsApp Business update from the Google Play Store on their secondary Android mobile phone. Within the registration screen, users should see the option to “Link a device” within the overflow menu.
On their primary device, users can then go to WhatsApp settings and select “Linked devices” to point the device to the secondary mobile phone and capture the QR code.
A new alternative and more accessible way to link devices will also be introduced over the coming weeks, where users will be able to enter their phone number on WhatsApp Web to receive a one-time code.
Business Account Benefits
The companion mode feature is also available on the WhatsApp Business app.
Business owners who have solely managed their WhatsApp business account can now have additional employees who can respond to customers directly from their phones under the same WhatsApp business account.
Limitations of the Companion Mode Feature
Some features such as the ability to manage broadcast lists and post a status update from the linked device may not be available yet.
WhatsApp has promised to introduce a new alternative and more accessible way to link companion devices in the coming weeks, allowing users to enter their phone number on WhatsApp Web to receive a one-time code for device linking instead of scanning a QR code.
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