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WhatsApp will kick off a limited public beta test of the capability to access its platform via multiple devices without requiring a smartphone connection.
The Facebook-owned messaging application will be available via a user’s smartphone and up to four other nonphone devices simultaneously, even if the smartphone battery is dead.
Each companion device will connect to WhatsApp independently, while giving users the same privacy and security via end-to-end encryption that they experience via their smartphones, and new technology was developed to maintain end-to-end encryption while syncing data such as chat archives, contact names and starred messages across devices.
The test will begin with a small group of users from WhatsApp’s existing beta program, with the aim of optimizing performance and adding features before a broad rollout.