WhatsApp has just announced arrival of its desktop app, for Windows 8 and up or Mac OS 10.9 and up. The Facebook-owned messaging service suggests to download the novelty here.
You’ll need to scan a QR code using WhatsApp on your smartphone to log in to the desktop app (look for WhatsApp Web menu under Settings). Once you’re set up, you’ll get desktop notifications, better keyboard shortcuts, and more.
WhatsApp’s desctop version is very similar to the web one that’s been available since 2015, copying much of the user interface.
“Today we’re introducing a desktop app so you have a new way to stay in touch anytime and anywhere – whether on your phone or computer at home or work. Like WhatsApp Web, our desktop app is simply an extension of your phone: the app mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device,” the company said in a statement.
“Just like WhatsApp Web, the new desktop app lets you message with friends and family while your phone stays in your pocket,” WhatsApp added.
Rumors that a full desktop version of the app was in the works surfaced last week after screenshots surfaced on a social nets. The app now joins the likes of Facebook Messenger and Skype, both of which have desktop incarnations.
This is the second time this week when WhatsApp makes headlines, after being banned in Brazil.
The app was blocked in the country for 72 hours for refusing to hand over chat records related to a drug case, something the company says it couldn’t do as its messages are encrypted. A different judge overturned the ruling and the service was restored 24 hours into the ban.
WhatsApp CEO and co-founder Jan Koum took Facebook to comment on the situation in a statement:
“Yet again millions of innocent Brazilians are being punished because a court wants WhatsApp to turn over information we repeatedly said we don’t have. Not only do we encrypt messages end-to-end on WhatsApp to keep people’s information safe and secure, we also don’t keep your chat history on our servers,” he said.
“When you send an end-to-end encrypted message, no one else can read it – not even us. While we are working to get WhatsApp back up and running as soon as possible, we have no intention of compromising the security of our billion users around the world.”
In a separate case, WhatsApp was banned in Brazil for 48 hours last December for failing to comply with a court order. The decision was overturned by an appeals court after being in effect for only 12 hours.
“After cooperating to the full extent of our ability with the local courts, we are disappointed a judge in Sergipe decided yet again to order the block of WhatsApp in Brazil,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told TechCrunch.
“This decision punishes more than 100 million Brazilians who rely on our service to communicate, run their businesses, and more, in order to force us to turn over information we repeatedly said we don’t have.”