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WhatsApp beta reveals native iPad app is on the way

WhatsApp is working on adding multi-device support, with a beta of the messaging app revealing it will finally work on an iPad, years after the service's launch.

WhatsApp has always allowed iPhone owners and other smartphone users to use the service, but the Facebook-owned messenger does not currently have an iPad app available. In a beta currently being tested, it appears that the situation will soon change.

A Saturday tweet by @WABetainfo reveals that "multi-device 2.0" is included in the latest beta. The feature currently enables WhatsApp to be used across multiple devices, including in a browser and desktop, but not with a native WhatsApp app for iPadOS.

The second-generation version of the feature will use a native version of the app for iPadOS to enable the multi-device support, rather than using a browser. It is claimed the iPad version will work independently, though conversations should also synchronize between the iPhone and iPad as well.

Though mentioned in the beta, there's no separate iPadOS app for testing yet. People enrolled in the beta will automatically get the iPadOS app once it rolls out in testing, the source claims.

In a July report for TechRadar, a WhatsApp spokesperson confirmed that existing multi-device support relied on mirroring off a smartphone to function, and so needed the iPhone to be turned on and connected to the Internet to function. Under multi-device 2.0, the spokesperson confirmed the apps would continue to work, but without the need for the host smartphone to be active.

News of the change arrives just over a week after WhatsApp announced a feature to enable the transfer of chat histories between iOS and Android devices. In July, it also beta-tested changes to group calls on iOS, as well as account review notifications.