What's WhatsApp's desktop app? A bloated, pointless, Windows/Mac download, that's what

Jan Koum’s WhatsApp releases a desktop version. But you’re better off just using the Web app.

WhatsApp now has a desktop app, for Windows 8 and up or Mac OS 10.9 and up. But as a 60 MB download, it's incredibly bloated, given its lack of functionality.

I can't see the point of using this over the Web app. Can you?

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers can't, either. Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

What’s the craic? Catherine Shu is on the other foot: [You're fired -Ed.]

WhatsApp, the...messaging service that claims a billion users, has launched desktop clients. ... WhatsApp’s success in...India, Brazil, and South Africa is...driven by the high penetration of smartphones...but giving power users...desktop options helps it compete against...iMessenger, WeChat, and Skype [etc.]

Power users FTW. Brian Fagioli gives it the beans—WhatsApp says "what's up?" to Windows and Mac:

I remember AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ being all the rage. [Then] MSN and Yahoo! Messenger.

Nowadays it seems to be Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. ... If you want to give it a try, you can download it here.

Let's hear from the horse's mouth. WhatsApp's resident anonymous coward is proud to be Introducing WhatsApp's desktop app:

[Now] you have a new way to stay in touch anytime and anywhere. ... Like WhatsApp Web, our desktop app is...an extension of your phone.

[It] is available for Windows 8+ and Mac OS 10.9+. ... Download the app...open the app and scan the QR code.

Oh, wait. So you still need to run the iPhone or Android app? Collen Kriel explains the use-case:

[It] is a mirrored version of WhatsApp on your phone. ... If you use WhatsApp a lot [you can] avoid having to pull out your phone every two minutes to check your latest message.

Open WhatsApp on your phone > Menu > Whatsapp Web...to scan the QR code displayed on your desktop. ... If you would prefer to use the web version of WhatsApp over the desktop version, you can...go to https://web.whatsapp.com

Why so simple? Jonathan helpfully explains the limitation:

Once a message has been delivered to your...phone, Whatsapp doesn't store your message...making sync across multiple devices impossible. ... Your phone is the server.

That is why Whatsapp runs a ridiculously small number of servers...was run by very small team for years [and] couldn’t comply with that Brazilian judge. ... The app has basically remained functionality unchanged. ... They added encryption, some UI tweaks.

I live in Indonesia, and Whatsapp is basically the only chat app. ... There is not a chance in hell iMessages will catch up with whatsapp. ... Maybe in the US...but in the rest of the world where 5 billion live...imessages will remain irrelevant. [Apple] should have made it an open platform from day one like Steve Jobs said the day he introduces imessage.

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or itbw@richi.uk.
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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