Meta-owned social messaging platform, WhatsApp is rolling out its ‘companion mode’ feature to all its Android users —a highly requested feature by the users, according to the company. The feature was first released to beta testers two weeks ago and it is now available [to everyone on Android] in the latest stable version of WhatsApp from the Google Play Store.
This update is an improvement on the multi-device feature introduced last year, which enabled users to message across all their devices while maintaining the same level of privacy and security.
With the new update, users can link their phone as one of up to four additional devices, just like when linking with WhatsApp on web browsers and desktop apps. Each linked phone connects to WhatsApp independently, ensuring that your messages and calls are end-to-end encrypted. In addition, WhatsApp will automatically log you out of all companion devices if the primary device has been inactive for a long period of time. WhatsApp didn’t mention/specify the period of time needs not to be inactive.
In its blog post, WhatsApp said, “Linking phones as companion devices makes messaging easier. Now you can switch between phones without signing out and pick up your chats where you left off.”
The companion mode feature is available on the WhatsApp Business app. If you’re a business owner that has solely been managing the WhatsApp business account, now you can have additional employees who are now able to respond to customers directly from their phones under the same WhatsApp business account.
To link your device to an additional phone:
- On your secondary Android mobile phone, download the latest update of WhatsApp Messenger or WhatsApp Business from the Google Play Store.
- Tap the overflow menu within the registration screen and you should finally see the option “Link a device”.
- Open WhatsApp on your primary device, and tap Settings >> Linked devices.
- Point this device to your secondary mobile phone to capture the QR Code.
WhatsApp has mentioned that a new alternative and more accessible way to link to companion devices will be introduced over the coming weeks. Users will be able to enter their phone number on WhatsApp Web to receive a one-time code, which they can use on their phone to enable device linking, instead of scanning a QR code.
Although the companion mode has been released to everyone, some features may still not be available, such as the ability to manage broadcast lists and post a status update from the linked device.