WhatsApp will soon release a new test version of the chat service where users can log in to their computer without having their phone connected to the internet.
Users have been able to log in to the web version of the chat service for some time, but that only works as long as their phone is connected to the internet.
This is necessary because conversations via WhatsApp are encrypted, and only the user’s phone can decrypt them. Only then will they be forwarded to the web version.
The change indicates that the way WhatsApp encrypts chats will change. However, technical details about the new web version have not yet been disclosed.
Parent company Facebook has been working on merging the chat services of WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger for two years. The services will keep their own apps, but a WhatsApp user can easily send messages to a friend on Instagram.
Of these three apps, only WhatsApp encrypts all messages by default.
Messenger users have to initiate a particular ‘secret’ conversation, while Instagram offers no encryption. However, to connect the services, they must ultimately provide the same form of encryption.