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WhatsApp to allow people to text without using phones

12:11 AM | 16 Jul, 2021
WhatsApp to allow people to text without using phones

Messaging and voice-over IP service WhatsApp is testing a new feature that will let people message without using their phone for the first time.

Presently, WhatsApp is linked to a user's phone. Its desktop and web apps need that device to connect and receive messages. But the new feature will let users send and receive messages "even if your phone battery is dead".

Up to four other devices - like PCs and tablets - can be used together, WhatsApp said on Thursday.

To begin with, the new feature will be rolled out as a beta test for a "small group of users". The team plans to improve performance and add features before enabling it for everyone.

End-to-end encryption - a key selling point for WhatsApp - will still work under this new system, it said.

Several other messaging apps already have such a feature, including rival encrypted app Signal, which requires a phone for sign-up, but not to exchange messages.

But the feature has long been requested by WhatsApp users - of which there are a reported two billion.

'A rethink'

Facebook engineers said in a blog post announcing the move the change needed a "rethink" of WhatsApp's software design.

The company said this is because the current version "uses a smartphone app as the primary device, making the phone the source of truth for all user data and the only device capable of end-to-end encrypting messages for another user [or] initiating calls".

WhatsApp Web and other non-smartphone apps are essentially a "mirror" of what happens on the phone.

But that system has significant drawbacks familiar to many regular users, as the web app is known to frequently disconnect.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Currency Rates in Pakistan - Pakistani rupee exchange rate against US dollar, Euro, Pound and Riyal - 24 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains largely stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 24, 2024.

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.

On Saturday, Euro stands at 302  for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 24 February 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.5 282.55
Euro EUR 302 305
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.5 356
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.1 76.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.37
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94

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