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WhatsApp is Now Available on iPad: Why is That Big News?

Apple keynote events used to be events people planned for – what’s the new feature going to be? How are they going to make our jaws drop this time? As the novelty of Apple products has worn off, so has the excitement surrounding their releases. 

With that in mind, one might wonder why we’re dedicating an article to the news that WhatsApp is now available on iPad. What’s the fuss with that? If anything, cross-platform access sounds like the sort of thing that should have been available to users a long time ago. It’s more of a “finally” rather than a “wow”. 

What’s the real story behind this story? Let’s investigate. 

Why Cross-Platform Access is Harder Than It Looks

Let’s start with the fact that WhatsApp is the poster boy (or in this case, poster app) of end-to-end encryption messaging. The very reason that WhatsApp is so popular, is the same reason it has somehow lost ground to the competition – safety. 

Maintaining the same level of safety and encryption whilst extending access and creating a seamless experience over multiple devices is the challenge that WhatsApp had to wrestle with for so long. 

Their new beta update is finally cracking the challenge: Four devices linked to a single phone number, a single account. The achievement is huge and there’s more that goes into it than it meets the eye.

Here are a few questions that the WhatsApp team had to consider:

  • Is it a good idea to transfer message history to a newly linked device?
  • Should there be a central repository?
  • How do you run end-to-end encryption where both chat participants have more than one device?

The challenge for WhatsApp has been bigger than people think. Applying WhatsApp interoperability would mean that Facebook Messenger users would probably switch to WhatsApp. Given that Facebook owns both messaging platforms, it means that it would essentially steal users from its own user base. 

In the meantime, Facebook has confirmed it plans to add end-to-end encryption to Messenger, in the near future, bridging the gap between the two apps. 

Something that is also rumored to be a part of the new Android beta release, is the almighty advanced search mode. The feature we’ve all been waiting for seems to be on the way – a search functionality that will allow us to search for specific items like video, pictures, files, links, audios, and even GIFs. 

Takeaways

Security has always been a prominent issue in tech but the past couple of years things have escalated in a way nobody could have ever imagined. 

The issue of privacy is becoming a huge bottleneck even for the most established tech companies in the world. It’s something that can no longer be overlooked and something that can make or break businesses.

People are not making any discounts on the safety of their data and private information. How things will move forward remains to be seen but if we had to make an educated guess, technological breakthroughs will always have to be audited by the level of security they possess. 

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