Apps & Software

WhatsApp arrives on desktop with WhatsApp Web

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps around, with over 700 million monthly users, but one thing that has frustrated users almost since its launch was that they couldn’t respond to messages from the computer once they sit down at their desk (similar to Hangouts). Well, yearn no more because you can finally WhatsApp to your heart’s content from your laptop.

In a blog post published today, WhatsApp is calling this WhatsApp Web, which is a big hint as to the limitations of this version of WhatsApp. For a start, it is wholly reliant on your phone’s connection to the internet. If your phone disconnects (say if it dies), then you’re booted from WhatsApp Web as well. So really, it’s just a way of routing the messages from your phone to your computer and vice versa, similar to Motorola Connect. Not an ideal solution, but a whole lot better than nothing at all.

That’s the position iPhone users find themselves in, along with anyone that doesn’t use Google’s Chrome OS. These are the other limitations of WhatsApp Web. You can only use it while in the Chrome browser and only on Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry 10.

Speaking about the lack of iOS support, WhatsApp said, “Unfortunately for now, we will not be able to provide web client to our iOS users due to Apple platform limitations.”

Set-up is relatively easy if you can get it to work. You’ll need the latest version of WhatsApp for your phone. Once you have that, navigate to web.whatsapp.com in Chrome to generate a QR code for log in. Then, open WhatsApp and select WhatsApp Web to scan the code. That’s it, apparently, though we haven’t been able to get it working on our Nexus 6, which was running the latest available version of WhatsApp in the Play Store and then the APK available on WhatsApp’s website.

Let us know if you get it working and what you think!

Update: The newest version of WhatsApp for Android is now live in the Play Store and it includes the WhatsApp Web option in the menu drop down. Get it while it’s hot!

[source]WhatsApp 1, WhatsApp 2[/source]

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