Before installing WhatsApp Web to your desktop, there are a couple of pointers you should keep in mind to fully understand how it works:
• WhatsApp Web is an extension of the regular mobile experience - it is not a replacement for it, nor does it require a different WhatsApp account to the one you use on your phone.
• This means that when you use WhatsApp on your computer and your phone, you're simply accessing the same account on two different devices.
• The messages you send and receive are fully synced between your phone and your computer, enabling you to see all the messages on both devices.
• Therefore, whatever action you take on your phone will be applied to WhatsApp Web, and vice versa.
To make the most out of WhatsApp Web, there are a couple of requirements:
• You still need the active mobile app installed on your phone to make use of it, as unlike other services (such as Skype), WhatsApp uses your cell number to identify you.
• You need to have a stable internet connection on both your phone and your computer.
• The WhatsApp Web app will not work if your phone is off.
• WhatsApp Web is available for Android, Windows Phone 8.0 and 8.1, Nokia S60, Nokea S40, Blackberry and Blackberry 10 smartphones.
• You must have the latest version of either the Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Safari web browsers to support the app. The Internet Explorer browser, is not supported, so if Internet Explorer is what you are currently using, download Chrome by following this link.
• Once you have the latest version of Chrome or one of the other aforementioned browsers installed, you may proceed with installing WhatsApp Web.
• Open a new tab in Google Chrome and go to the WhatsApp Web site by clicking on this address: web.whatsapp.com
• The following page will pop up. The QR Code (the black and white box) is what is important here.
• Open WhatsApp on your phone and go to Menu > WhatsApp Web.
• Upon doing so, the following will appear, asking you to scan the QR Code on your computer. Do so and click OK Got It. Note that in order to scan the code, WhatsApp must have access to your phone's camera. Without access, you will not be able to scan the code and thus install WhatsApp Web.
• With these simple steps, you can now start using WhatsApp Web.
Using WhatsApp Web
The layout and design of WhatsApp Web is pretty simple. Upon launching the app on your desktop, you will see that messages appear in the mobile app thread instantaneously. You will also notice that WhatsApp Web mirrors the mobile experience - just on a larger scale.
The functions of using WhatsApp on your phone and on your PC are very similar. For an overview on how to use WhatsApp on your phone, click here.
To make the most out of WhatsApp Web, just follow these easy steps:
• To send a photo or a video, click the attachment button, located at the top of chat.
You may send a photo or video from your computer's gallery in exactly the same way as you would use WhatsApp on your phone, do this by clicking on the Gallery Icon. You can select up to 10 photos or videos to send at a time. If you click on the Camera Button, your computer's webcam will be used in order to take a photo. Once you have finished, just hit the send button. The maximum video size you can upload is 16MB.
• To send a voice message, click the Microphone Button next to the text input box to begin recording.
To record your message speak into your computer's microphone, clicking the check mark button (the tick) when you are ready to send your voice message, or the cross (x) button to cancel the recording.
You may also use emojis and view your contact list and so on, but you cannot as yet make calls.
To receive alerts of incoming messages on your computer, click on Allow, located at the top right corner of Chrome, when prompted.
Word of caution
• To avoid data usage charges on your phone, make sure that you are always connected to Wi-Fi when using WhatsApp Web.
• Anyone who has access to your computer will be able to pull up your WhatsApp conversations as long as you remain logged in, in which case, be sure to log out by clicking on the three-dot menu icon and selecting Log out.
Now in case you are wondering, why you need to use WhatsApp Web, when it is exactly the same as that on your phone? Personally I think that it simply comes down to comfort, why type on your phone when typing on a keyboard is so much easier?