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WhatsApp multi-device support rolls out to beta users. Here’s how to sign up. – Android Authority

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TL;DR

  • WhatsApp is finally rolling out multi-beta support to beta testers.
  • The feature is available in the latest WhatsApp beta version for a limited number of users.
  • The company also detailed the inner workings of the feature, the changes to WhatsApp’s architecture required, and how it will function for users.

It’s nearly here. WhatsApp‘s long-awaited multi-device support has landed as an experimental feature. Facebook’s engineering team made the announcement this week while detailing the feature’s complex inner workings.

Per Facebook, multi-device support has prompted a “rethink” of the chat app’s architecture.

How multi-device support works

Previously, WhatsApp saw the primary smartphone as a “source of truth” — the device used as the cornerstone of that users’ account encryption. This forced this device to be available at all times, even when companion devices, like a PC connected to WhatsApp Web, were being used.

Now, Facebook has redesigned this system. WhatsApp’s new architecture ensures that companion devices can act independently while also maintaining synchronization with the primary smartphone where possible.

“WhatsApp multi-device uses a client-fanout approach, where the WhatsApp client sending the message encrypts and transmits it N number of times to N number of different devices — those in the sender and receiver’s device lists,” explains Facebook engineering team.

This design allows users to send messages or place calls from companion devices even if their primary smartphone is switched off or disconnected.

Through this arrangement, WhatsApp can also sync app data and message history across devices without relying on a central server. However, the company does store “a copy of each application state that all of someone’s devices can access” on a server for redundancy. The company notes that this data is “end-to-end encrypted with constantly changing keys known only to that person’s devices.”

What isn’t included

Annoyingly, users are allowed up to four companion devices on their account, but none can be smartphones. This makes the feature a lame duck for those who want to use a single WhatsApp account across two smartphones.

The beta also lacks key features. Initially, you won’t be able to view the live location of another user on companion devices, nor will you be able to call others from a companion device if they have a dated version of WhatsApp installed. Group invite handling is limited to the primary smartphone for now, too. There’s also limited functionality for Portal, WhatsApp Desktop, and WhatsApp Business users too.

How to activate WhatsApp multi-device beta

If you are already on WhatsApp’s beta channel, be sure to update your app. After this, you can check if the feature enrollment option is available on your device. To do this:

  • Open WhatsApp.
  • Tap the More options menu — the three-button menu in the top-right corner.
  • Tap Linked Devices.
  • Select Multi-device beta.
  • Tap Join beta.

The Multi-device beta option will only be visible if the feature is available to you. Although I receive WhatsApp beta builds, the feature was not available on my device.

If you want to leave the beta, you can do that too. Follow the same steps above, but tap Leave beta at the final step instead.

WhatsApp hasn’t announced when multi-device support is due to hit stable builds. We imagine the company still has several bugs to squash and functionality to polish. Nevertheless, after months of rumors and teasers, the beta rollout is the first sense that multi-device support is nearly ready for primetime.

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Amazon Prime is giving away Battlefield 1 and Battlefield V – TechSpot

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In brief: Are you looking for some older but still fun games to play without putting a hand in your virtual wallet? Then here’s some good news: Amazon Prime subscribers can grab the standard edition of Battlefield 1 right now, with Battlefield V going gratis on August 2.

From now up until August 4, members of Prime Gaming, which is free to Prime subscribers, can grab the PC version of Battlefield 1 for nothing. It’s redeemable through Origin via the Origin Store or Origin Client.

Battlefield 1 (2016) takes the action to World War 1, where those who prefer doing things solo can enjoy six separate “War Stories,” excellent mini-campaigns shown through the eyes of separate allied soldiers from different nationalities. But the main attraction is that 64-person multiplayer mode.

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The game’s successor, Battlefield V, arrives on Prime Gaming on Monday, August 2. You may remember that Battlefield V was the first game to support real-time ray tracing when it arrived back in 2018, and its World War II setting still looks good today. It sold 7.3 million copies by the end of 2018, though it was still fewer than half of what Battlefield 1 managed during the same period.

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With Battlefield 2042 scheduled to release on October 22, this is a good opportunity to reconnect with the Battlefield series.

Want some more free games? Make sure to check out our roundup of everything being given away on the Epic Games Store, Steam, Amazon, and more.

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Ex-Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime on allegations: "I am ashamed" – Eurogamer.net

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Ex-Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime has issued a statement on recent allegations about the company, saying: “I am ashamed.”

This week, the State of California sued Activision Blizzard over what it alleges to be a “frat boy” culture that created “a breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women”.

Ex-Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime.

The lawsuit alleges a culture of “constant sexual harassment”, mainly at Blizzard Entertainment, the maker of World of Warcraft, Diablo and Overwatch.

Activision Blizzard has strongly denied the accusations, calling many of the claims distorted or false.

Morhaime co-founded Blizzard in 1991, when the studio was known as Silicon & Synapse, eventually becoming president in 1998, then president and CEO in 2007.

During Morhaime’s time at the company Blizzard released gargantuan hits such as World of Warcraft, Overwatch and Hearthstone, and contributed billions of dollars to Activision Blizzard’s bottom line. Morhaime left Blizzard in 2018 – a move that was widely seen as a significant blow for the company – and was replaced by current president J. Allen Brack.

Morhaime’s statement is published in full, below:

“I have read the full complaint against Activision Blizzard and many of the other stories. It is all very disturbing and difficult to read. I am ashamed. It feels like everything I thought I stood for has been washed away. What’s worse but even more important, real people have been harmed, and some women had terrible experiences.

“I was at Blizzard for 28 years. During that time, I tried very hard to create an environment that was safe and welcoming for people of all genders and backgrounds. I knew that it was not perfect, but clearly we were far from that goal. The fact that so many women were mistreated and were not supported means we let them down. In addition, we did not succeed in making it feel safe for people to tell their truth. It is no consolation that other companies have faced similar challenges. I wanted us to be different, better.

“Harassment and discrimination exist. They are prevalent in our industry. It is the responsibility of leadership to keep all employees feeling safe, supported, and treated equitably, regardless of gender and background. It is the responsibility of leadership to stamp out toxicity and harassment in any form, across all levels of the company. To the Blizzard women who experienced any of these things, I am extremely sorry that I failed you.

“I realise that these are just words, but I wanted to acknowledge the women who had awful experiences. I hear you, I believe you, and I am so sorry to have let you down. I want to hear your stories, if you are willing to share them. As a leader in our industry, I can and will use my influence to help drive positive change and to combat misogyny, discrimination, and harassment wherever I can. I believe we can do better, and I believe the gaming industry can be a place where women and minorities are welcomed, included, supported, recognised, rewarded, and ultimately unimpeded from the opportunity to make the types of contributions that all of us join this industry to make. I want the mark I leave on this industry to be something that we can all be proud of.”

Morhaime left Blizzard to form a new game company called Dreamhaven. Dreamhaven is made up of two separate studio teams – Moonshot and Secret Door – each led by former Blizzard talent.

On its website, Dreamhaven says it wants to “provide a safe place where developers, creators, and players can connect in meaningful ways”.

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iOS and iPad users can now access Facebook's cloud gaming services indirectly – MobileSyrup

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After continuous back and forth between Facebook and Apple regarding an iOS app for Facebook’s gaming service, the social networking platform has followed Microsoft and Amazon’s route and has published a web app for iPhone and iPad users which will be found on Facebook Gaming’s website, instead of the App Store.

Facebook has released a PWA (Progressive Web App) that will act as a shortcut to its gaming service. To access the app, simply visit www.facebook.com/gaming/play from your iPhone and iPad, and you’ll get a prompt to add a shortcut to the web app to your homepage (see the first screenshot below for reference).

“We’ve come to the same conclusion as others: web apps are the only option for streaming cloud games on iOS at the moment,” Facebook’s vice president of gaming, Vivek Sharma, told The Verge in a statement.

“As many have pointed out, Apple’s policy to ‘allow’ cloud games on the App Store doesn’t allow for much at all. Apple’s requirement for each cloud game to have its own page, go through review, and appear in search listings defeats the purpose of cloud gaming. These roadblocks mean players are prevented from discovering new games, playing cross-device, and accessing high-quality games instantly in native iOS apps — even for those who aren’t using the latest and most expensive devices.”

Via: The Verge

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