iPhone users who use WhatsApp to communicate with other people can now sync their mobile app accounts with WhatsApp Web, the web client for the popular Facebook-acquired instant messaging platform.
The new functionality, which was first spotted by Reddit users, has been made available for WhatsApp for Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and select Windows Phones in January, but the Apple App Store's stringent requirements has delayed WhatsApp from pushing it out for iOS users at the same time.
WhatsApp Web allows users to connect their WhatsApp account with their Macs or PCs so they can chat with their friends and view their messages straight from the web client itself.
To use WhatsApp Web, users simply need to go to web.whatsapp.com and scan the QR code they see on the website using the WhatsApp app on their iPhone. This then connects the web client to their account to allow users to start using WhatsApp Web right away.
Once WhatsApp Web has been activated, users can check their settings to see if a WhatsApp Web menu option has appeared. If it's there, that means WhatsApp Web is already working.
For now, it seems like the WhatsApp team is rolling out the functionality in phases, so some users will probably not be able to sync to WhatsApp Web right away. However, since the feature has already been released, it's likely that everyone will start receiving it within the next few days.
As 9to5Mac points out, the new functionality is not actually a software update to be received through the App Store. Instead, it will be a server-side update for each account, which means WhatsApp is likely taking a while to upgrade its servers so everyone can start using WhatsApp Web.
WhatsApp, which boasts of 800 million monthly active users, has been aggressively introducing new features for its users, perhaps in an attempt to stay relevant amidst a sea of formidable competitors.
The most notable of its newest features is WhatsApp Calling. As its name implies, WhatsApp Calling allows users to call each other through the platform using Wi-Fi or cellular data, which helps them save on roaming charges when calling overseas.
A host of smaller upgrades were introduced to WhatsApp for iOS as well, including the ability to back up videos, mark read conversations as unread, and mute individual chats.
Similarly, WhatsApp Web also received a minor makeover, with a few interface tweaks that give web client users more control over the user experience. For instance, users can now update their WhatsApp profile photo and status on WhatsApp Web and delete and archive old chats. They can now also mute or exit group chats from the web if they don't want to participate in them.