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article imageWhatsApp now sends every message so securely it can't read them

By James Walker     May 11, 2016 in Technology
WhatsApp has launched a new desktop app for Windows and Mac OS X PCs. It adds another platform to the growing list of devices that the popular communication service supports, letting you send messages from wherever you are while on the go.
The new app is available now to users of Windows 8 and above and Mac OS X 10.9 and above. It lets you type messages from your computer and have them sent to recipients as if you were using the mobile app, making it easier to use WhatsApp on your PC.
The app has been built by porting the existing WhatsApp Web online app to run natively on desktop PCs. The app connects to your phone to send and receive messages, mirroring conversations from your mobile device. It supports native desktop notifications and keyboard shortcuts, behaving like other communication apps on your PC.
"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," said WhatsApp. "Like WhatsApp Web, our desktop app is simply an extension of your phone: the app mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device."
WhatsApp Desktop
WhatsApp Desktop
Setting up the app is a simple procedure. You download it from the website, install it on Windows or Mac and launch it to get started. The first time you use the app, you'll need to authenticate it for your phone number so it can access your account.
This is done by scanning a QR code in the same way you'd set up WhatsApp Web. You use the WhatsApp mobile app to scan the QR code that the desktop program displays. Once the code has been scanned, the two will connect together and begin to push messages between the devices.
In a short testing period with the app, it seemed fast and responsive. It uses the same basic design and layout as WhatsApp Web and is evidently a port of the website. The app feels like a native program though, even if some interface elements are a little off.
The app does not adhere to native Windows styles. Instead, it uses Google Chrome's interface for its menu bar and buttons with Material Design overlays and pop-ups. The porting appears to have been done through a Chrome conversion tool, making it look out of place on the Windows desktop.
A desktop app may seem a bit redundant in today's mobile-driven world. WhatsApp now has over 1 billion users though, many of whom are likely to use a PC as well as a phone. The desktop app also allows WhatsApp to better rival traditional PC communication platforms, such as Skype, and emerging newcomers like Slack.
The new app can be downloaded from WhatsApp's website. It is an additional way to access WhatsApp conveniently when you're separated from your phone or you need to use the service while working on your PC. Your phone does need to remain connected to the Internet while using the app though, a hindrance that could limit its usefulness for some.
More about whatsapp, Communication, Encryption, Messaging, App
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