Linked devices on WhatsApp could pick up this long-overdue feature

Summary

  • WhatsApp is rolling out a beta update for Android that allows users to post status updates from companion devices.
  • The update could also let people edit or remove WhatsApp status updates from a linked device.
  • This inclusion is part of WhatsApp beta for Android version 2.24.1.4, although it may not be widely available just yet.


WhatsApp’s wider rollout of companion mode earlier this year meant that more users could link their account with up to four devices even if their primary phone didn’t have access to the internet. Unfortunately, the companion or linked device in this scenario cannot perform certain functions on its own, such as posting status updates. But WhatsApp could be working on fixing that, according to a new beta version of the app for Android.

The recently rolled out WhatsApp beta for Android version 2.24.1.4 (via WABetaInfo) allows individuals to share status updates from a paired or companion device. Posting a status on a secondary phone works exactly like it would on your main device, requiring you to navigate to the Status tab and tap the pencil/camera FAB on the bottom right of the screen or access it via the My status section on top. Users will find all the standard photo editing tools that are usually available, along with the ability to post status updates in voice, text, video/image, or GIF form.

WABetaInfo says status updates on linked devices may not be widely available just yet. However, it should make an appearance to a wider group of beta testers in the days and weeks ahead. I couldn’t access it on my paired device either, despite being on version 2.24.1.4 of the Android beta.

We’ve extensively covered WhatsApp’s implementation of linked devices, although it wasn’t without some critical issues. In its current form, trying to post a status from a linked device returns an error, as shown below. Moreover, users are also unable to edit or delete a Status from their secondary phone, which we suspect would change with this newly added functionality.

It’s been a busy last few weeks for WhatsApp, as the Meta-owned app continues to improve existing features while adding new ones along the way. Screen sharing falls into the latter category and was first spotted testing back in May this year, becoming more widely available in August. A beta release this week revealed support for both video and audio during screen sharing, taking WhatsApp one step further to becoming a proper video chat app like Zoom or Google Meet.

In the meantime, WhatsApp developers are also working on letting users link their Instagram accounts. A recent beta release went a step further and revealed the presence of a new Share status banner in the Updates tab, plus icons for sharing the status on Instagram as well as Facebook. To be clear, WhatsApp already allows cross-posting of status updates to Facebook, while support for auto-posting arrived earlier this year. With Instagram being the only holdout so far, it’s not particularly surprising that Meta is looking for ways to bridge that gap as well.

link