WhatsApp goes native on Windows


Dances with Wolves? WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps out there, and the company is offering it on a multitude of different platforms, including Windows.

Up until now, WhatsApp on Windows was based on the Electron framework.

But no more!

WhatsApp Desktop is now a native app on Windows, meaning this new version should not only look and feel familiar, it should also deliver better performance, a cleaner interface, and all the usual Windows bells and whistles.

As an added bonus, the app can now also send and receive messages even when a user’s phone is offline. It can connect to four devices without needing a phone that is online.

This is, obviously, a capability that has been present on some other platforms already.

While the primary advantage of Electron is that developers can leverage web technologies, it also results in relatively poor performance, consistency, and overall usage — the Skype app being the prime example of a lackluster experience.

But it does result in lesser development effort, as there is no need to rebuild the web app from scratch to cater to desktop users, which is why companies use it. Nevertheless, there was no better time than now to go native.

And that’s exactly what Facebook has done.

The official client just picked up a big update on Windows that swaps it from the previous web-based app to a native software built for the operating system. The company had been testing this new application in beta for a long time, since last year as a matter of fact.

But the new version is now generally available for everyone.

WhatsApp quietly announced the release in a support article, highlighting that the WhatsApp UWP app for Windows is now live. And while the company does not specifically mention UWP, it does refer to native technologies being used to build the redesigned app.

All the changes in this new release are outlined on a FAQ page.

The firm also confirmed that a native macOS app is in development too, and those that are interested in it can sign up for the beta.

As for the Windows app, it is now available as a standalone app on the Microsoft Store that you can download right now. Simply click the link below to do so.

Download: WhatsApp