Believe it or not, WhatsApp didn't support multiple devices before this summer, requiring your phone to be turned on and connected to the web at all times — even when using the web client to send messages. While that's no longer necessary, the app is still incapable of allowing you to message from more than one mobile device. If you've been feeling the limitations of "partner" devices over the last few months, there's finally a sign that true multi-support is coming to WhatsApp.
Back in July, we reported WhatsApp was working on allowing users to use the same number on multiple phones. Last month, new information revealed it would become easier to transfer your chat history between Android and iOS devices, hinting the feature is getting closer to a global rollout. A new leak reveals further details on how the new functionality could work.
WhatsApp has managed to reach a worldwide audience and break through 2 billion monthly users despite a severe handicap: The app doesn't support multiple devices for the same account. One phone number equals one phone or one tablet, that's always been the equation. And while there are workarounds to allow two different numbers on the same phone (for dual-SIM devices or Business users), there hasn't been any trick to make the same number available on two phones or tablets simultaneously. The great news is that WhatsApp is already working on this.
Ever since the launch of Google Duo, one of the top criticisms has been that you can only have a single device registered at a time. That means a person with both a phone and a tablet has to choose just one of those devices to receive calls. But a few months ago, we got the first clue that Duo would soon enable users to link a Google account, making it possible to contact people with their email address rather than needing a current phone number. This also raised the question of whether or not multi-device support might be coming. As of Duo v27, that question can be answered...
When Allo and Duo were announced at Google I/O, one of their pillar features was their requirement for a phone number to activate. And as most of you have noticed, this has been very controversial among users: some like the simplicity of the approach, others loathe its limitations: no multi-device support, no web/desktop clients, and a requirement for workarounds to install on tablets, especially WiFi-only ones.
With Duo's release this week, these limitations were put under the spotlight, and while some users like me were convinced by the no-fuss approach of a phone number as a means of identification, others are still moaning the lack of a tie to a Google account.
Remember when we used to play games with people who were actually in the same room? Rookie Play Store developer Seabaa does. They've created DUAL!, an Android game that positively demands you play it with friends. DUAL is basically a top-down space shooter in the style of Galaga, but the structure has been modified to allow two people to play across two Wi-Fi connected devices, either competitively or cooperatively.
The primary game mode pits two players against each other. Once you're connected (and you figure out which way the screens are supposed to be oriented), tilt to move your pixelated ship around the field, tap to fire short shots, or tap and release to charge a larger shot.