Facebook’s 1 billion user-messaging behemoth, WhatsApp announced a few hours ago on their blog that users can now access their messages on their PCs via a native desktop app. Well, some of them. Mac users who use anything older than OSX 10.9 Mavericks and Windows users running Windows 7 and older will not have access to the service. Those ones will have to make do with using WhatsApp Web in their browsers.

whatsapp_logo_wide_2013

Their blog post said “our desktop app is simply an extension of your phone: the app mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device”. Translation: you can’t use the desktop app if you aren’t already running WhatsApp on your mobile phone(s).

How to get it running, you ask? Visit whatsapp.com/download on your computer, download and open the pertinent app, scan the QR code using the WhatsApp app on your smartphone and you’re good to go. If you’re wondering how to scan the QR code, it’s at Settings > WhatsApp Web. What this tells me is that the app is probably just a chromium browser pointed permanently at web.whatsapp.com and not an actual native app. If that’s the case, then the only added value the app gives is neater push notifications, a desktop/dock icon, keyboard shortcuts et al. But don’t take my word for it.

A bit late to the desktop-app party, I must say though. I hardly ever touch any of my mobile devices (because I hate typing on glass), and I’ve been messaging with Telegram‘s desktop app for months now. But better late than never, ey?

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