The last few days, virtually every tech blog on the web talked about the new web client of WhatsApp. If you haven’t checked it out, visit web.whatsapp.com and give it a try. All you need to do is getting your smartphone, open WhatsApp, go to the app’s settings and select ‘WhatsApp Web’. Now you need to scan the QR code on the website and you should be logged in.
Oh, I forgot one rather important detail. All of that doesn’t work with iOS. Only Android, Blackberry and Windows users can chat with their WhatsApp contacts using their computer.
It seems like the most popular messaging app did something groundbreaking but it actually really didn’t. Other apps have been accessible from devices other than smartphones for a long time already. Just think about Facebook’s Messenger app. You can talk to all your Facebook friends using any mobile device or by using the chat on Facebook’s website. Other examples are Telegram or Google Hangouts, which have their own browser extension or native tools. Unlike WhatsApp, you don’t need to have a specific tab opened in your browser. The browser extension or tool start automatically so that you don’t have to think about anything.
Talking about not having to think or worry about anything, WhatsApp’s web client is merely mirroring the app on your phone. That means all messages or images that you receive or sent from your computer all go through your phone. So, if you want to send lots of pictures to your friends, you better make sure you either have enough data left on your plan or a Wifi connection.
Although I do think that releasing a web client is a smart move forward, I think this comes about a year too late. I, for example, use Hangouts much more than WhatsApp simply because of its browser extension. I don’t really see why I should completely switch back to WhatsApp. It’s just too late.
In spite of all that, WhatsApp did the right thing and I’m sure that they’ll eventually release their own browser extension or standalone app for Mac and Win. If you’re not using any other messenger than WhatsApp, then you should definitely make use of the web client. Having the possibility to text your friends using a proper keyboard is liberating.
If you one of the many people with an iPhone, then I recommend you to check out other alternatives or just stick with iMessage or Facebook Messenger.