Thursday, January 22, 2015
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WhatsApp, the popular cross-platform instant messaging service developed by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, has revolutionized the way we use cell phones.
Sending text messages, videos and files has never been easier.
Its effectiveness goes beyond the cell phone. You can now use the application on our computers as well.
How do die-hard WhatsApp fans download and use it on their Macs and PCs?
- How to install WhatsApp on your Mac and PC
To start, you will need an Android emulator. WhatsApp is not available as a computer application, so you will have to use an Android emulator to run it on your computer. An Android emulator enables your computer to function like an Android device, such as a Samsung Galaxy tablet. The most popular of these is the Bluestacks application player, an Android emulator that runs on both Macs and Windows PCs.
Download this useful emulator at Bluestacks.com. Install it by running the set up file. If you are installing it on your Mac, Bluestacks will ask for access to the iTunes store. It will also ask for access to your Google account so that it can connect to Google Play. Bluestacks runs in full-screen mode as the installation reaches its last stages. Clicking on the diagonal icon at the top right hand corner of the screen will allow it to run in a window.
As the Bluestacks application runs, click on your browser and download the WhatsApp apk file that you can find here: http://www.whatsapp.com/android/current/WhatsApp.apk
Run the downloaded file in Bluestacks by clicking on it. It should install automatically in the Bluestacks player. Look for it among the grid of applications you may have installed and launch it.
On your mobile phone, verify your contact number. WhatsApp will take a little time to verify your number via a text message. After about five minutes, WhatsApp should allow the option for voice verification. Click on Call Me. You will receive a phone call that tells you the verification code. Note it and enter it in WhatsApp.
- How to use WhatsApp on your computer
Once you have installed WhatsApp, you can begin to use the application. You can add contacts who use WhatsApp on their phones or computers. Do this by clicking on the contacts icon (the three dots) on the top, right-hand corner of the screen. Note that you cannot import contacts from your cell phone. These will not show on the application now running on your computer.
Then, start sending them image and video files. To attach a file, click on the paper clip icon at the top, right-hand corner of the screen.
You can also navigate to the Group feature and organize your contacts. Form a new group and add contacts who belong to the same organization to it. If you were part of groups while using the WhatsApp mobile application, they will not show on your computer. You will have to ask the group administrator to add you as a group member again. You can also add people to a broadcast list in conversations.
WhatsApp for PC does not sync with your phone. The application will disappoint you if you were hoping to use it on both devices. Your phone cannot receive messages if you use the application on your computer.
Another drawback of WhatsApp is that you cannot switch between the computer and the phone immediately. You will have to verify your phone number again. There is a 20-minute delay between verification’s on any given day. This means that you will have to plan if you want to switch between devices when using WhatsApp.
With a little time and patience, you can enjoy the convenience and efficiency of WhatsApp messaging and file sharing on all your devices.