Whatsapp officially launches Desktop Apps for Windows and Mac!

Whatsapp just launched their Whatsapp for Desktop app and you can download it here. Got it? OK! Now that we've gotten that part of the whole jigamajig out of the way, off to a little bit of news pertaining to the new desktop app.

For the past 16 months, for us heavy whatsapp users, we had to rely on the web browser to get to Whatsapp, and it does take a toll on the browser but the Facebook-owned WhatsApp has finally announced today that the application are now available for Windows 8 and above, and for Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) and above.

That's in addition to the existing apps for Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Windows Phone, among others. "Like WhatsApp Web, the desktop app is simply an extension of your phone: the app mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device," the company said. Put another way: you need the mobile app running on your phone, close to your desktop computer, for it to work.

To log in to the app, you'll need to scan a QR code using the WhatsApp mobile app. Once you do, all your chats will load. Benefits of using the web app include desktop notifications and access to all your favorite keyboard shortcuts. In a quick session with the app, I found it fast and responsive.

A desktop app may feel like a small thing, but messaging apps derive part of their power from ubiquity — the more places you can access them, the more often you'll use them. WhatsApp has more than 1 billion users already. As of today, they have one more reason to keep it open all day.

One thing for sure, make sure you set a shortcut key to minimize the app so that your bosses won't catch you chatting away instead of doing work when you access the app in the office.

Michael Yip

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