Two new beta versions of WhatsApp are currently available for Android users. One makes auto-messaging much easier, and the other features Buddy Mode, which lets you connect up to four phones to a single 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 is much simpler. According to WABetaInfo (Opens in a new tab), all you have to do is open your contact list where you will see a new contact “Me (you)” and the words “Message yourself” below it. Tap it, send yourself a message, and you're done.
In addition to connecting to other devices, Buddy Mode also transfers data, such as your chat history, from your account to a new device. WABetaInfo indicates that some features will not work. You may not be able to manage broadcast lists and stickers, or view live locations. Personal messages and calls will always be end-to-end encrypted so you can rest easy knowing your information is safe.
To enable companion mode, first open the recording screen (opens in a new tab) and expand the options menu. There should be an option to link a secondary phone by scanning a QR code. If you don't see the option, you'll have to wait for the next beta release. WABetaInfo explains that betas are being rolled out in waves and that a select few can take several weeks to get.
If you want to become one of the lucky few to try both features, you will first need to join the Google Play beta program (opens in a new tab) and install WhatsApp version 220.127.116.11. There are plans to include tablets in companion mode, but there is no word on when that will happen. We reached out to Meta and asked when both features will be released for Android devices. This story will be updated if we have any news.
WhatsApp has had a good year as it has seen a lot of new features added. Recently, the app introduced communities, massive groups of up to 1024 members, and the ability to have video calls with up to 32 people. With five billion downloads on the Google Play Store alone, WhatsApp's user base is significant…and a target.
There have been incidents of people downloading fake WhatsApp in an attempt to steal user passwords. Bad actors steal these keys to run "malicious campaigns," including but not limited to stealing money. Cyberbullying has also been on the rise on WhatsApp in recent months. Read our coverage to learn what to watch out for and how to fight back.