WhatsApp Desktop App With End-to-End Encryption Comes To OS X And Windows

There's nothing wrong with showing up fashionably late to the party, and at long last, WhatsApp has decided to don the desktop with its presence. The wildly popular messaging application that's owned by Facebook announced the availability of its first desktop app for PCs running Windows 8 and higher and Macs running OS X 10.9 or newer.

Since the desktop app runs natively on the desktop rather than through a web browser, WhatsApp brings support for native desktop notifications, better keyboard shortcuts, and so forth. But perhaps the biggest draw is end-to-end encryption. Much to the chagrin of government agencies that want tech companies to build backdoors into their programs and devices, WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption to keep communication secure.


Same as with WhatsApp Web, the new desktop app lets you message your friends and family without digging your smartphone out of your pocket, at least once it's setup. When you first fire it up, WhatsApp generates a code that you have to scan with your WhatsApp on your mobile phone.

Once it's setup, you can send text messages, pictures, voice messages, and so forth. One thing that will be interesting is to see if WhatsApp will be a bigger competitor to Slack in the work space now that it's available on the desktop. WhatsApp is generally more focused on casual chat, but it does have a group texting feature.

WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion. At the time, it was free for a year and then $1 annually thereafter, though Facebook scrapped the paid subscription model earlier this year. There are now more than 1 billion people using WhatsApp, making it the largest messaging program in the world.