You Can Now Use WhatsApp On Your Computer, But There's A Catch...

It's been a long time coming!

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WhatsApp Web is finally available on iPhone

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The highly popular WhatsApp messaging service owned by Facebook appears to be adding a new feature that allows iPhone users to chat in the browser using a web app.

The feature is called WhatsApp Web and became available on various platforms including Android and Windows Phone earlier this year, but the feature was absent for iPhone users at the time “due to Apple platform limitations.” Using the chat service on the web requires running WhatsApp on a corresponding smartphone.

However, the function might not be available for all at the moment

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Those with the latest version of the phone app (available for free in Apple’s app store) should find a new “web” menu option under “settings” – although the function is being rolled out in stages and will not be immediately available to all.

22 January: WhatsApp is a popular messaging service that is used by over 700 million around the globe. One of the unique features of the app is that it's available on multiple platforms, making chat seamless.

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WhatsApp Messenger is an instant messaging app for smartphones that operates under a subscription business model. The proprietary, cross-platform app enables users of select feature phones to use the Internet to transmit communication. In addition to text messaging, WhatsApp can be used to send images, video, and audio media messages. Locations can also be shared through the use of integrated mapping features. In January of 2015 it reported surpassing 700 million users.

In an effort to bridge connectivity between phone and the web, WhatsApp has announced WhatsApp Web, giving you the ability to access your messages and chat directly through your browser

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WhatsApp now has its own desktop version which can accessed from a Chrome browser.

Today, for the first time, millions of you will have the ability to use WhatsApp on your web browser. Our web client is simply an extension of your phone: the web browser mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device -- this means all of your messages still live on your phone.

WhatsApp announced the news Wednesday, confirming recent rumors that it was planning to soon introduce a Web client for in-browser chatting. "Our Web client is simply an extension of your phone: the Web browser mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device — this means all of your messages still live on your phone," WhatsApp founder Jan Koum wrote in a post on his Facebook page.

But before you jump for joy and celebrate, there are a few limitations to the service. Here are just three that could potentially bring out the inner rage of Malaysian WhatsApp users...

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1. The service only works on Google Chrome

It’s a web app rather than a native client — and for now, at least, it seems to only play friendly with Google Chrome.

You shouldn't be using Internet Explorer anyway.

2. It only works if your phone is connected to the Internet, rather than your computer. So do remember to connect it through WiFi if possible!

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To take advantage of the option, WhatsApp users must open up this Google Chrome extension and then scan the QR code (yeah, we know, groan) to pair your device with the web client. As a further limitation, WhatsApp's web chat only works as long as your phone remains connected to the Internet. However, as with other texting workarounds, having WhatsApp on desktop might turn out to be useful after you've jumped through these various hoops.

For the time being, at least, there are a few limitations.For one thing, WhatsApp’s desktop version is a straightforward mirror of the WhatsApp on users’ phones, meaning that you need an active web connection on your phone, rather than your computer. For the majority of users this shouldn't be a problem—but it's worth remembering if you plan to take advantage of the service.

3. Lastly, it works for Android, Windows and even Blackberry users but sadly not for iOS users due to "platform limitations"

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Unfortunately for now, we will not be able to provide web client to our iOS users due to Apple platform limitations.

There’s one big caveat, too: you can’t connect WhatsApp to your browser if you have an iPhone.

This currently works on Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry… but “due to Apple platform limitations” (WhatsApp’s words, there — we’re not sure what limitations they mean), iOS users are left out in the cold.

But looking past those problems, the extension is pretty clean and fast, allowing users to chat on WhatsApp without reaching out for their devices

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On the platforms where it works, however, it’s very slick. Curiously, it seems as if it’s using your phone for more than just the initial login; note the orange warning in the screenshot below. If your phone dies, so does your WhatsApp web connection.

How to get WhatsApp on your computer: Update WhatsApp on your phone, head to this link and scan the QR Code to get started

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The company’s desktop solution, however, is somewhat convoluted. To use it, you have to open in Google Chrome and scan the QR code inside your WhatsApp smartphone app. Then, you must keep your phone connected to the Internet and make sure you have the latest version of WhatsApp.

The service has still a long way to go to catch up with competitor Telegram, which allows users to connect on the web simply by entering their phone number

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