Until now, using the WhatsApp network on the desktop or other devices has required having a phone turned on and connected, but a new beta test is trying to support multiple devices without needing a phone in the mix. In an interview in June, WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart and his boss, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, commented on the technical challenge of maintaining end-to-end encryption. With a blog post today, Cathcart explains more about what has been done behind the scenes to maintain security.
When the image that compares the inheritance and the new systems (above) try to explain, a user’s phone has previously managed the key that determines the identity and the ability to encrypt / decrypt messages. The encrypted synchronization also applies to message history, contact names and other data, with keys maintained on the individual devices.
To get started, the beta goes out to a limited group of testers who are already in WhatsApp’s beta program, while the team says they’re working to improve performance and add more features.
We have been working on this for a long time. Until now, @WhatsApp has only been available on one device at a time. And desktop and web support only worked by mirroring your phone – which meant your phone had to be on and have an active internet connection.
– Will Cathcart (@wcathcart) July 14, 2021