WhatsApp’s new multi-device mode is live for Android tablets in beta

WhatsApp has come a long way from when the web interface only worked if your phone was also connected to the internet. Multi-device support changed things for the better, allowing your computer to communicate with the messaging service’s servers and work as a linked device even if your primary phone is offline. WhatsApp is expanding this capability to other devices, starting with a new Companion mode beta feature for Android tablets.

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WhatsApp multi-device support allows you to link one WhatsApp account on a phone with up to four desktop computers. However, it isn’t officially possible to mirror the account on another smartphone or a tablet. We first got wind of WhatsApp’s plans to develop a remedy in the form of multi-device 2.0 last year, and early signs of the new Companion mode surfaced in May. At the time, we could see instructions for using the feature, and a half-baked device linking screen, but the feature didn’t work.

WABetaInfo reports the latest WhatsApp Beta builds on the Play Store (v2.22.21.5 and v2.22.21.6) brings Companion mode for tablets to a handful of beta testers. This means testers can link their WhatsApp account from their Android phone or iPhone to an Android tablet. Setting up Companion mode is akin to using multi-device on WhatsApp Desktop or Web — just tap the three-dot menu in the upper right corner of the WhatsApp app on your Android phone (or the gear icon on iPhone) and select Linked devices. Then point your phone’s camera at the QR code displayed on the WhatsApp instance running on your Android tablet.

Once set up, chats will sync between your phone and Android tablet, even when the former doesn’t have an active internet connection. When we tested this ourselves, the WhatsApp beta first asked us to add a phone number to get started. Only after restarting the app by swiping it away from the Recents app overview were we able to get the QR code interface to show up. Once we had our WhatsApp account connected with it, we were greeted by the familiar WhatsApp interface as you know it from your phone, stretched out wide on our tablet. While almost everything works as expected, this isn’t an ideal experience and probably the reason why it’s still in beta right now.

The report says you can still link just four companion devices per WhatsApp account, but now at least one of them can be a tablet if you like. WABetaInfo warns that the new beta could have a few missing features, though, including Communities and the ability to view live locations. WhatsApp could roll out support for these in due course.

Companion mode functionality and its appearance may change during the beta testing phase, but we believe a similar Companion mode implementation could make its way to smartphones eventually, allowing them to work as linked devices too. Whenever that happens, you won’t need to rely on sketchy or cumbersome workarounds to use one account on multiple gadgets like smartphones, tablets, and computers.

If you want to give this a try yourself, be sure to join the WhatsApp beta on the Play Store or, if it’s filled up, download the latest release from APK Mirror.

Thanks: Armando

UPDATE: 2022/09/23 09:43 EST BY MANUEL VONAU

Updated with hands-on experience

https://www.androidpolice.com/whatsapp-multi-device-tablets-beta-roll-out/