Just last week we reported that WhatsApp was working on a desktop app for different platforms. Whoever is not a fan of too many open browser windows (or tabs) can rejoice, because as of yesterday there is a new downloadable app for Mac and Windows available.
The new app for Mac and Windows is nothing more than an “extension of your phone” though, mirroring “conversations and messages from your mobile device”. For those hoping that we were going to get a standalone app like we have for Slack, this is bad news. Functionality is not mirrored completely, and you cannot make calls from the new desktop app.
So, basically all WhatsApp has done is create an app so that you don’t have to use platform from within your browser.
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This move does however have some positives. In the announcement, the company explains that “you’ll have support for native desktop notifications, better keyboard shortcuts, and more”. That “and more” is rather cryptic, because it hints at more to come. In my view, creating the desktop app was only the beginning of something a lot bigger.
It is my guess that Facebook wants to position WhatsApp as an internal communication and collaboration app for companies – a competitor to Slack if you will. I downloaded the app and noticed the “Get Beta Updates” option within the “File” menu. What Beta updates they mean by this is interesting to guess. Voice and video calls soon? File-sharing? In any case, WhatsApp has made its move.
It will be interesting to see where it takes things from here.
The app is available for Windows 8 and above, as well as Mac OS 10.0 and above. To download it, go here on a desktop browser and after downloading and opening the app simply scan your QR code as you used to when connecting the mobile app with your browser – Hint: It’s the WhatsApp Web option in “Settings”.
What is your opinion about the launch of this new app?
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