You don’t get to a billion active users by ignoring platforms. (Except BB10, even WhatsApp can’t be bothered with BB10 anymore).
Joining the Android, Apple, Windows Phone, Symbian and Nokia S40 (yes, really) apps, WhatsApp now has desktop apps for Windows and Mac OS.
The apps are very similar to WhatsApp Web, the online client launched in January 2015. Like WhatsApp Web, they simply mirror the chats from your phone app, which means that you can’t use WhatsApp for desktop if your phone is out of battery or lacking a connection for any reason. That’s not ideal, but shouldn’t be a problem in most cases.
To install and set up WhatsApp on your computer, download the installer from here (Windows 8 or higher, Mac OS 10.9 or higher). You will be presented with a QR code that you will need to scan with your phone in order to log in. To do so, open the WhatsApp app, go to Chats, click on the menu button, select WhatsApp web, and point your device to the code. You should be good to go in seconds.
The desktop apps offer roughly the same functionality as their mobile counterparts, with the exception of voice calling. While you can’t call people, you can send record and send soundbites, as well as send files from your computer. As you can see from the screenshot above, the new text formatting isn’t supported yet.
WhatsApp recently announced that it encrypts all forms of communication, stoking antipathy in the circles of power worldwide. As for new features, video calling, voice mail, and improved file support are expected this year.