WhatsApp is rolling out a limited public beta test for its updated multidevice feature, according to the German news agency.
The Facebook subsidiary plans “to initially test the experience with a small group of users from our existing beta program,” according to a post on Facebook’s engineering website.
With the beta, first teased in June, users will be able to use WhatsApp on a phone and up to four linked companion devices simultaneously, even if their phone battery dies. Each device connects to a user’s WhatsApp account independently and maintains end-to-end encryption.
Facebook says it developed new technology in order to maintain end-to-end encryption while also syncing data like contact names and chat archives across devices.
The current WhatsApp experience, before this beta, uses a phone as the primary device and has companion devices, such as PCs, that mirror the phone’s contents with their user interfaces. Because they rely on a phone to operate, companion devices are slower and frequently get disconnected.
“The new WhatsApp multi-device architecture removes these hurdles, no longer requiring a smartphone to be the source of truth while still keeping user data seamlessly and securely synchronized and private,” the CNET website reported based on the company’s post.