Whatsapp is finally eradicating its most annoying feature!
One of the biggest problems of using Whatsapp, as most users will tell you, is that the app is attached to your phone. Whatsapp cannot be accessed without the phone, even on the laptop. Whatsapp also does not work on multiple devices. So if you have two SIM cards of the same number, being operated on two different phones, Whatsapp will work on only one of them. Even when a person logs into the app via PC or a laptop, they are essentially still using their phone to work on the PC Whatsapp.
Similarly, suppose a person moves away from the phone, either by taking the laptop away or the phone. In that case, Whatsapp will cease working on the connected device. This has been pretty frustrating for many professionals since most people rely on Whatsapp for messaging clients and other work personnel.
The status quo is changing now. Whatsapp, owned by Facebook, is releasing a beta version of the app that will allow users to work on the phone and four other independent secondary devices. The best thing about the new feature is that it allows Whatsapp to be run independently, untethered to the phone. So if you move your phone away or if the battery dies, you don't have to worry about Whatsapp on your desktop becoming non-operational as well. Previously, the users could do one of the following; either make a video call or browse the phone. If they wanted to do the latter, their video would be paused and doing the former would tie their hands.
Allowing multiple devices independent access can potentially compromise the end-to-end encryption of Whatsapp. This feature provides security to the app, disallowing any hacking attempts. It is one of the best USPs of Whatsapp. Whatsapp brought encryption to the mainstream, and the same model is now replicated by all messaging apps, including the mainstream Signal and Telegram.
The real magic comes with the way Whatsapp has managed to secure its end-to-end encryption while also making the app accessible to multiple independent devices. The company has introduced a sequence of elongated security codes, and Automatic Device Verification suggests that devices can automatically build confidence with each other. So the only time you are required to analyse security codes is if the whole account gets reregistered, rather than just connecting a new device to the account. Each message sent through the app is encrypted individually, and the messages are not stored in the server after they have been delivered.
However, even though Whatsapp is bigger and supposedly better than Telegram, the latter app had introduced such features a long time ago. Instead, it is better because Telegram lets its users use the app on all the devices simultaneously and syncs the messages across all devices, including phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops.
Although Whatsapp will work only on four devices, for now, it is a massive step in the right direction. The update is a beta version and, therefore, will be available to select a few initially. Soon the entire range of users worldwide will be able to make use of this fantastic feature. Whatsapp still has many loopholes, and rivals are exploiting them. The prime example is the fiasco Facebook brought upon its head when it announced its latest privacy terms and conditions. To retain users on the app, Facebook will have to do a lot more than it is doing contemporarily.