We have been talking about linked accounts on WhatsApp for a long time, and finally, WhatsApp’s beta update on Android has turned up with new interfaces that suggest the update is closer to releasing. The Linked Accounts feature will essentially allow you to use one WhatsApp account and link it with multiple devices, hence further increasing the scope of usage. Shared by WABetaInfo, the WhatsApp beta for Android update shows a new interface using which all devices linked to an account can be managed. Interestingly, the ‘Linked Devices’ tab appears to replace the ‘WhatsApp Web’ tab that is presently available on WhatsApp’s stable build, hence stating that WhatsApp is now ready to link one account to more devices beyond the Web app functionality.
The detailed Linked Devices interface now shows a list of all devices that are linked to your account. Using this interface, users can choose which devices to stay logged in on, and which devices can be logged out. The account linking feature is most importantly expected to allow users to run the same WhatsApp account on two phones (or maybe more), which will likely be done by the same QR code interface that WhatsApp for Web presently uses. The interface will also allow users to add or link a new device to their WhatsApp account. According to prior reports, up to four devices may be linked to one WhatsApp account when the feature is released.
Beyond linked devices, the WhatsApp for Android beta update 2.20.196 has also brought in a more elaborate ‘advanced search’ feature. According to the screenshot shared by WABetaInfo, this feature will allow users to search by filtering photos, videos, links, GIFs, audio snippets and documents, which classify six different types of files that can be shared on WhatsApp. A previous report had also suggested that WhatsApp may also get the ability to search for messages chronologically, and by this new advanced search feature, it appears that WhatsApp is simultaneously appealing to those who use WhatsApp as a work application as well.
As with most beta updates, the features are presently in the works, and will likely be rolled out as part of stable builds in the near future. The fairly advanced stage of the features suggest that a stable update for them may actually come quite soon, although there are no release dates per se that have been revealed. The ability to link one WhatsApp account to multiple devices is WhatsApp’s highlight update of 2020, and it remains to be seen whether it generates the same amount of hype and interest that WhatsApp’s Dark Mode rollout in 2019 had sparked.