If you are one of the 500 million people who chat tirelessly on WhatsApp, good news! The free mobile messaging app is now on desktop. And as one of our GrateNews editors put it, this is the best thing that has ever happened, at least for today.
WhatsApp’s desktop version is accessed via a web app rather than a native app. What’s the difference? As the name implies, a web app works with a web browser and hence requires Wi-Fi or other forms of connectivity to work, whereas a native app is one that is installed like a program directly onto the computer.
We think that having a web-based app makes sense, as you will need some form of connectivity to get your messages out anyway. One curious thing to note is that the new desktop version works with Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry…except for Apple platforms. Apparently, it doesn’t support iOS due to Apple platform limitations according to WhatsApp’s blog.
A couple of things to note before you start using the web app. First, WhatsApp requires you open up the web client using the Google Chrome browser. Second, you need to scan a QR code that appears on your browser with the WhatsApp app on your phone to get started. And lastly, your phone needs to stay connected to the Internet for the entire time for the desktop version to work. So if your phone runs out of juice, so does your WhatsApp web access.
Beyond the kinks, the desktop version looks slick and pretty straightforward to use. We think the new WhatsApp desktop might just revive the MSN chat of the yesteryears. To start using, go to web.whatsapp.com