Part of WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption scheme is a requirement for users to set up the service with a phone as the "main" device for an account. The company announced in July that it was working on next-generation encryption that would enable a true multi-device connection without requiring a connection to a smartphone. As part of that, it sounds like WhatsApp is planning a fully native iPad app fro the first time.
AppleInsider noticed a few tweets this weekend from the WABetaInfo account, an unofficial source of details about upcoming WhatsApp features. The account says that as part of the upcoming multi-device beta, both the iPad and Android tablets would be able to be used as "linked devices" to a WhatsApp account for the first time. A follow-up tweet claims that it'll be a native app (rather than a web app) and that it'll work "independently" (as in it'll run if your smartphone is offline).
• Is WhatsApp for iPad a web app? No, it's a native app!
• Will WhatsApp for iPad work independently? Yes.
• Is WhatsApp for iPad already available? No.
• WhatsApp beta for iPad? If you have WhatsApp beta for iOS, you will automatically have the iPad version in the future. https://t.co/aQYBBtW7Sb
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) August 21, 2021
There's no word on when this app and integration will arrive; the WABetaInfo account says it's under development and will be released in a "future update." But if you already have the WhatsApp for iOS beta, you'll get access to the iPad version as well. On the one hand, plenty of people who've been using WhatsApp for years have likely gotten used to the app not being available on tablets — but multi-device support seems like the perfect time to make WhatsApp work on more devices.