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Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp has announced the arrival of its native desktop app, which you can download here. It’s available for Windows 8 and above, and for Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) and above.
You’ll need to scan a QR code using WhatsApp on your smartphone to log in to the desktop app (look for WhatsApp Web menu under Settings). Once you’re set up, you’ll get desktop notifications, better keyboard shortcuts, and more.
This desktop WhatsApp is very similar to the web version that’s been available since 2015, copying much of the user interface. “Like WhatsApp Web, our desktop app is simply an extension of your phone,” the company said in a statement.
The software syncs with your phone to mirror conversations and messages. It also supports voice dictation. WhatsApp suggests connecting your phone to Wi-Fi as a way of keeping data costs down.
Rumors that a full desktop version of the app was in the works surfaced last week after screenshots appeared on Twitter. The app now joins the likes of Facebook Messenger and Skype, both of which have desktop incarnations.
WhatsApp was in the news again last week, after being banned in Brazil for the second time in six months. The app was blocked in the country for 72 hours for refusing to hand over chat records related to a drug case, something the company says it couldn’t do as its messages are encrypted. A different judge overturned the ruling and the service was restored 24 hours into the ban.