Meta-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp is testing a new feature called ‘Companion mode’ on Android. Available for limited beta testers currently, the companion mode allows users to link existing accounts on secondary Android smartphones. WhatsApp allows linking existing accounts with up to four devices. It allows users to use WhatsApp services on the linked device, even if the primary registered device is out of network or has no internet connection. However, the companion mode is limited to web client and PC application at present. The support for tablet and smartphone has been on the cards, and the companion mode on Android is a step in the same direction. So what is new in the companion mode for Android and how does it work? Here is everything you need to know:
WhatsApp companion mode
The companion mode allows WhatsApp users to link their existing accounts on other devices — up to four in total. The version currently in testing enables companion mode on Android. It essentially means WhatsApp users would be able to link their existing accounts on other Android smartphones. Therefore, users can have a single account available on up to four devices, including another smartphone.
The process of linking the smartphone with an existing account would be similar to activating the account on a web client. According to WABetaInfo, the WhatsApp beta version with companion mode has the linking function available right at the number registration screen. Below are the steps to activate the companion mode on Android:
Step 1: Click on three vertical dots in the upper right corner
Step 2: Tap on Link a device to get the QR code required for account linking
Step 3: Open WhatsApp on primary registered mobile
Step 4: Go to Settings and tap on Linked Devices
Step 3: Inside Linked Devices, tap on Link a Device
Step 4: Direct the phone camera to scan the QR code visible on the secondary mobile
Step 5: Once the link is established, the companion mode is activated on secondary mobile
How does it works
After linking a WhatsApp account to a new mobile phone, the chat history of the primary device would be synced across all the linked devices. Even if you use WhatsApp from a linked mobile phone, all the personal messages and calls are still end-to-end encrypted – according to WABetaInfo. When someone sends you a message, the message is delivered to all the linked devices so encryption is always preserved.
As this new update is under testing, some features may still not be available. For instance, the ability to view live locations and manage broadcast lists and stickers may not be present.