WhatsApp is rolling out a feature to beta testers on Android with support for logging on to WhatsApp Web using a phone number. The platform currently requires users to scan a QR code with their smartphone in order to log on to the web version of the messaging service. After downloading the latest testing version of WhatsApp for Android, you can opt to sign in on your browser using your mobile number, a feature that may come in handy if your phone's camera isn't functioning properly. WhatsApp is also developing new filters for improved chat sorting on a beta version of WhatsApp for Android.
Spotted by feature tracker WABetaInfo on version 2.23.14 of WhatsApp beta for Android, the new feature can be found by tapping on the three-dot menu at the top right corner of the display then selecting Linked devices > Link a device and authenticating using your phone's fingerprint scanner — or entering your phone PIN or password. On the next screen, you will see the QR code scanner, along with a new option located at the bottom — Link with phone number instead.
Tapping on the new button displays a new screen that prompts the user to open WhatsApp Web and click on Link with phone number. After entering your phone number, you will see an 8-digit code that you must enter on the WhatsApp app on your phone in order to complete the device linking process. Gadgets 360 was able to confirm that this feature was visible and works as described, on the latest beta version of WhatsApp for Android.
It is worth noting that the latest version of WhatsApp beta for Android only supports phone number logins on the Web interface — it doesn't support signing in using a mobile number on WhatsApp Desktop or on secondary mobile devices. There's no word when WhatsApp will extend this functionality to its app on iOS, or when the feature will roll out to users on the stable update channel on Android.
Meanwhile, WABetaInfo also spotted a new feature in development that will allow you to filter messages with a couple of taps. In place of the navigation tabs that have been moved to the bottom of the chat app, WhatsApp has added new filters such as All, Unread, Personal, and Business. These filters will allow users to group various chats based on whether they have been opened or are still unread, and list out WhatsApp Business chats by tapping one of the four filters.
Affiliate links may be automatically generated - see our ethics statement for details.
For details of the latest launches and news from Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OnePlus, Oppo and other companies at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, visit our MWC 2024 hub.