WhatsApp very silently launched the official desktop app for both Windows and Mac and if not for the research I had to do for the previous post that I wrote I wouldn’t have known about it either. The only press release WhatsApp made is in their blog post.
Before I talk in detail about the pros and cons here is the link to download – https://www.whatsapp.com/download/
For Windows it is not a Windows Store App but a normal 32 bit or 64bit .exe file that you can download and install. However though the app doesn’t support Windows 7 which is a huge bummer. On Windows 7 if you hit that link you will see this :
As seen above the app is supported on Mac OS X 10.9 and higher.
The app is essentially a web wrapper for WhatsApp Web and still needs you to keep WhatsApp running on a phone with internet connection. Essentially this is a good thing. WhatsApp reads a phone with your WhatsApp connected to the internet because WhatsApp doesn’t store your messages on their server. Their servers only act as medium and momentary storage before it is delivered to the recipient’s phone and deleted from the server. This ensures no one can read your messages because they are encrypted and only the recipient and sender hold the lock and key to decrypt the message.
You need to sign in by scanning the QR code just like you would on WhatsApp web and then you can use WhatsApp like you could on WhatsApp web. The only good thing about this is that you would no longer need to run a heavy browser to use WhatsApp on your PC provided you are on Windows 8 or higher.
Below are a few screenshots :