Two new whatsapp betas are currently available for Android users. One makes it much easier to message yourself and the other introduces Companion Mode, which allows you to connect up to four phones to one account.
WhatsApp technically already had the ability to send messages to your own phone number, but you had to use the Click to Chat feature to open a new chat room and send it there. Now it’s much more streamlined. According to WABetaInfo (opens in new tab), all you have to do is open your contact list, where you will see a new “Me (you)” contact and the words “Message yourself” below it. Tap that, message yourself and you’re done.
In addition to connecting to other devices, Companion Mode also transfers data, such as your chat history, from the account to a new device. WABetaInfo indicates that some functions are not working. You may not be able to manage broadcast lists and stickers or view live locations. Personal messages and calls still have end-to-end encryption, so you can rest assured that your information is safe.
To activate Companion Mode, you must first open the registration screen (opens in new tab) and expand the options menu. There should be an option to pair a second phone by scanning a QR code. If you don’t see the option, you’ll have to wait until the next beta. WABetaInfo explains that the betas are rolling out in waves and it could take a select few weeks to get it.
If you’re interested in potentially becoming one of the lucky few to try out both features, you’ll first need to join the Google Play beta program (opens in new tab) and install WhatsApp version 220.127.116.11. There are plans to include tablets in Companion Mode, but there is no information on when this will happen. We reached out to Meta and asked when both features will launch for Android devices. This story will be updated if we hear anything.
WhatsApp has had quite a year since a lot of new features have been added. Recently, the app Introduced Communities, huge groups that can accommodate up to 1024 members and the ability to make video calls with up to 32 people. With five billion downloads from the Google Play Store alone, WhatsApp’s user base is large… and a target.
There have been incidents of people downloading whatsapp knockoffs for the purpose of stealing user access keys. Bad actors steal these keys to run “evil campaigns” including, but by no means limited to, stealing money. Cyber stalking has also seen a resurgence on WhatsApp in recent months. Read our coverage to learn what to watch out for and how to defend yourself.