WhatsApp may be facing some issues with being banned in Brazil, but the company is still minding its business and a native desktop client is apparently en route.
New information surfaced indicating that WhatsApp is working on a desktop app for Windows and Mac users.
The company already offers the option of using WhatsApp on desktop, but only via browser. WhatsApp Web allows users to communicate via the app in a browser tab, but only if they have their phone on.
This means that WhatsApp Web currently cannot function independently, untied from one's smartphone. At the same time, one has to keep the browser open in order to use WhatsApp on the desktop. While that may not be such a big deal, it would undoubtedly be more convenient to be able to use WhatsApp without having to keep a browser tab open just for chatting.
Rival Viber, for instance, offers a desktop app that allows users to communicate on the desktop just like they would on mobile, simply by opening the app. It doesn't require a browser open at all times, nor does it depend on the smartphone. Users can communicate via the Viber desktop app even if their smartphone is turned off, as the smartphone and desktop apps function independently from one another.
Should WhatsApp finally start offering a native desktop app, it would no longer require users to scan a QR code with their smartphone in order to connect, and it would no longer involve a browser.
Clues of a native WhatsApp desktop app can be found in some leaked documents that recently surfaced on Twitter. The documents in question refer to translating specific phrases, and some of those phrases mention Windows and OS X app clients.
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) April 29, 2016
Moreover, WhatsApp is also rumored to add video calls soon. If WhatsApp video calling is indeed in the cards, a full desktop client would make even more sense.
It remains to be seen how things will unfold, however, as WhatsApp has neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of the leaked documentation. That said, take this news with a grain of salt until WhatsApp is ready to make a formal statement on the matter.