What you need to know
- WhatsApp's latest beta release on Android allows you to sign in to your account on the web without scanning a QR code.
- The alternative login method is available now to a wider group of beta testers who downloaded the latest beta version of WhatsApp.
- You'll see the new option when you try to link your account to your PC, with a new button showing up below the QR code scanner.
Meta has given WhatsApp a steady stream of updates over the past few years, with the ability to sign in to multiple devices being a key focus. The messaging platform is now experimenting with a new login method on the web that does not require scanning a QR code.
As spotted by WABetaInfo, the latest beta version (220.127.116.11) of WhatsApp on Android includes a new option to link your account on the web with a phone number. This is in addition to the QR code option, which has been the default method for linking your account to a new device.
The alternative sign-in option appears to be available on a wider set of devices running the latest WhatsApp beta. This feature can be accessed using the same method as when linking a new device with a QR code.
So, you just have to tap the three-dot menu in the top-right corner and select "Linked devices." You'll then see a button that says "Link a device" in the next screen, and tapping on it brings up the QR code scanner. Below that, you'll see a prompt that says, "Link with phone number instead."
When you tap it, you'll be redirected to a screen where you need to enter an eight-character code. After that, open WhatsApp's web client on your PC and choose "Link with phone number" instead of the QR code method.
On the next page, you'll be asked to enter the primary phone number associated with your account, and a one-time code will appear after you click the "Next" button. Finally, enter this code into WhatsApp on your primary phone, and then you're good to go.
For the time being, this feature is said to be available only on WhatsApp for the web, although the idea of Meta extending it to other platforms is not out of the question as it seeks to bring its fight to the leading messaging apps.
However, the latest experiment may be less convenient than simply scanning a QR code given the fairly lengthy string of characters you have to manually enter in order to link your account to a certain device. On the other hand, this comes in handy if your phone's camera is not functional.
In any case, you now have more options when signing in to your WhatsApp account on the web.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.