WhatsApp has confirmed that its long-rumored multi-device support will enter public beta in the coming months, allowing users to access their accounts from up to four paired devices. New “watch once” and “disappearing mode” features were also officially announced. The news came in an interview between WABetaInfo and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and WhatsApp head Will Cathcart.
Cathcart stopped confirming reports that WhatsApp has an iPad app in development, but said multi-device support will enable WhatsApp on iPad.
In addition to multi-device support, Zuckerberg also confirmed that WhatsApp is adding a new “view once” feature that allows users to send content that disappears after it’s viewed. The service also extends the disappearing messages feature, which currently allows messages to be deleted after a certain amount of time. In the future, a new “disappearing mode” will allow you to enable disappearing messages in all chat threads.
The Facebook CEO confirmed that the multi-device feature does not affect the end-to-end encryption WhatsApp provides for messages sent between individuals. “It will still be end-to-end encrypted,” Zuckerberg wrote. “It was a big technical challenge to properly sync all your messages and content between devices, even when your phone’s battery is dead, but we’ve fixed this and we look forward to releasing it soon!”
WhatsApp hasn’t confirmed when the “View Once” and “Disappearing Mode” features are expected to launch, but Cathcart said multi-device support will be in public beta “within a month or two.”
In addition to multi-device support, WABetaInfo also reported that WhatsApp is working on a new password-protected encrypted chat backup feature, which will finally allow users to transfer their chat history between iOS and Android devices. WABetaInfo has previously discovered numerous features before their official release, including adding contacts via QR codes and WhatsApp’s disappearing messages feature.