It is safe to say that 99% of WhatsApp users have the application installed on their smartphone and use it regularly. A few of them using on their laptop or desktop computers as well. Up until recently it was extremely difficult to get WhatsApp to work under Windows or any other desktop operating system.
Everyone used an Android application launcher such as Blue Stacks but it was unstable and unreliable. To help their uses the WhatsApp developers went ahead and released a web version that can be used on virtually any computer.
What Needs To Be Installed?
In simple words nothing needs to be installed to use the web version of WhatsApp. It runs directly in the browser and it even has all the conversation history. The user only needs to perform an initial configuration which takes just a couple of minutes. Once done the session will remain active for an unspecified amount of time.
Setting Up WhatsApp Web
It takes only a few seconds to get WhatsApp Web working and here’s how to do it:
1. Open https://web.whatsapp.com in a browser on the computer that needs to have WhatsApp Web.
2. Go to the phone and open WhatsApp.
3. On the main window open Menu.
4. Tap on the WhatsApp Web option. It should bring up the phone camera.
5. Use the phone to scan the QR code that shows on web.whatsapp.com. If the code has expired a green circle will appear with the text “click to reload QR code”.
Pros And Cons
It is important to mention right off the bat that the application does not support iOS devices. If the user has WhatsApp installed on an Apple product then WhatsApp Web will not work. Also the web version is just a mirror of the mobile one. This means that everything received on the web version is also received on the mobile version which means it cannot be used to save bandwidth for the data plan. In fact according to the developers the web version connects to the user phone in order to perform a sync of messages. This means that there is an extra data usage thus increasing costs.
Another problem with the web version is the security it offers. If for example it is used on a public computer and the user forgets to log out then his messages or more precisely his entire account is exposed.
On the other hand there are a lot of good things about the web version of WhatsApp such as how easy it is to get it setup. All it takes is a simple QR code scanning. This is a big thing for the ones that used Blue Stacks to emulate Android on their computers and install WhatsApp. Everyone has been waiting for about 3 years to see the desktop version and now it is available. Also despite the fact that everything is downloaded in the web version directly from the mobile phone, WhatsApp does not transfer the pictures or any other media files unless the user clicks on the actual file in their browser window of the chat.