A game-changing new WhatsApp feature could arrive very soon

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

WhatsApp may be a massively popular way of keeping on touch with people, but few users would deny that there's room for improvement in a few areas. Keeping an eye on beta versions of the app is a great way to get an idea of what direction the app is going in, and to get glimpse of upcoming features before they see the light of day.

The latest release – WhatsApp Beta v2.20.110 – includes a couple of tantilizing hints about new features. In addition to the self-destructing messages feature we'd already heard about, this version of the app also includes references to support for multiple devices.

As spotted by WABetaInfo, the self-destructing messages feature appears to have undergone yet another name change. Having previous been known as Disappearing Messages and Delete Messages, WhatsApp is now referring to it as Expiring Messages. The name isn't all that's changed here, with the number of options for how long messages will exist before being deleted being reduced. Now users can only select between having message vanish after a day, a week or a month.

But it is support for multiple devices that is more interesting. While the latest beta shows that WhatsApp is busy working on this option, it has not yet been activated and therefore cannot be tested right now.

Multiple device security

Once fully implemented, you'll be able to use WhatsApp on, for example, your phone and your tablet at the same time. To allay fears that someone else could simply log into your account on their phone without your knowledge or consent, the encryption keys used to secure messages will be changed every time a new device is added, and a notification displayed in the app.

If you want to try out the WhatsApp beta, you'll have to sign up to the Google Play Beta Program. Right now, there is no more space for new beta testers, but it's worth checking back every now and then to see if a space has become available, or if more capacity has been added.

Via WABetaInfo

Sofia Elizabella Wyciślik-Wilson
Freelance writer

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 20 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fueled by technology, music and nature.

Having written for websites and magazines since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.

Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy. Her other loves include walking, music, her two Malamutes and, of course, her wife and daughter.

You can find her on Twitter and Mastodon.