WhatsApp is the most used messaging app in the world, but one thing that has proven to be problematic for the average user is installing two WhatsApp accounts on a single phone.
It’s hard to bump into a single-SIM smartphone not just in the Kenyan market, but also in a bunch of other developing markets. Many people use dual-SIM smartphones and since WhatsApp can only be associated with a single phone number, it has meant that owners of these types of phones have had to deal with using just one number for the app’s chats while the other serves them for SMS purposes.
The good news today is that you can now assign each of your two SIM cards a WhatsApp account and use both from the same phone. But as usual, there are a few things you’ll need to do in order to achieve this status, which are very easy as long as you stick to the instructions.
Installing the first WhatsApp account
To install the first WhatsApp account, just in case you haven’t done so, simply head to the Google Play Store and grab the latest version. It should be easy to set it up, where you have to provide your phone number and create a username (optional). It is via this phone number that you’ll receive the confirmation code for activating the newly created account (Note that it’s not a must that the SIM card in question be inserted in the phone you want to install WhatsApp on, rather, the SIM card can as well be in a different phone [Kabambe] and you’ll still get the confirmation SMS. You can then proceed by entering this number manually on the phone that you are installing the app).
That’s just about it! Simple huh!
Installing the second WhatsApp account
Now that the first SIM card has already been identified with WhatsApp, it’s time to give the remaining SIM card a similar treat. This time, there’s no going to the Google Play Store because you cannot install two instances of this app via the Play Store. Instead, we’ll opt for a trusted third-party app.
Ever heard of WhatsApp+ or GBWhatsApp? Well, these two apps are, in fact, well ahead of the original WhatsApp when it comes to features. In anything, most of the features that Facebook has been adding to its acquired app have been available for ages on both WhatsApp+ and GBWhatsApp.
Before you proceed with downloading this app, you must first make some tweaks to your Security Settings, which is accessible via the main Settings app. While in there, tick the box against “Unknown sources” in order to allow installation of third-party apps. But do remember to come back here and uncheck this box once you are done with this installation.
You might be wondering why the change in settings? Well, Android OS is designed in a way that apps must be installed via the Google Play Store. This Unknown sources’ setting prevents installation of apps outside the Play Store, but since we are dealing with trusted apps, in this case, there’s nothing to really be worried about.
When done with this setting, it’s time to download and install the second WhatsApp application on your phone, either WhatsApp+ or GBWhatsApp, whichever interests you. To download the former, tap here and for the latter, tap here. Once the download completes, locate the downloaded file and tap on it to begin the installation.
It takes less than a few seconds to install the app (depending on the performance of your phone) and in fact, setting it up is the same as the standard WhatsApp. Simply enter the number for your second SIM card and a confirmation SMS will be sent to this number. Enter it in the app to confirm the account and you should be good to go. You have successfully set up two WhatsApp accounts on one phone.
Note that you can play around with WhatsApp+ and GBWhatsApp settings more freely than the standard app, including assigning a new color to the app’s icon. This will help you tell apart the two apps by, for instance, assigning a blue or red color to the otherwise green icon of the app. These settings can be accessed either via WhatsApp+ Settings or GBWhatsApp Settings, which is just an additional item on the usual WhatsApp menu.
Remember to go back to your phone’s Security Settings and disable the “Unknown sources” option once you are done as this will continue preventing the auto-installation of malicious third-party apps on your phone without your consent.
Any question or hiccups? Feel free to drop us a comment below.