Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been ignoring iPhone users for a while.
Sure, there's a WhatsApp app for iPhone. But the web client, which has been available for months and works with other mobile platforms like Android and BlackBerry, has never supported the iPhone. So, if you owned Apple's smartphone and wanted to chat with your friends through WhatsApp, you were limited to the mobile app and basically had to suck it up.
But now, for the first time, millions of iPhone users will be able to use WhatsApp in their web browser. Here's how to get started...
What is WhatsApp?
It's a cross-platform instant messaging app. You can use it to send text messages, phone calls, images, video, user location, and audio media messages. It is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone, and Nokia. For all phone types, WhatsApp is free to download and try for the first year. After that, you'll have to pay an annual subscription fee of 99 cents.
What is WhatsApp Web?
WhatsApp was made available through web browsers for the first time last January, but it was only available to Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone users. However, as of now, it is available to iOS users too. The web client basically mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device in your web browser, thus enabling you to use WhatsApp from your desktop.
How do you connect your web browser to WhatsApp Web?
To connect your web browser to the WhatsApp web client, you'll obviously first need to install/launch a web browser on your desktop.
From there, go to https://web.whatsapp.com in your browser. You will see a QR code appear on the site. At that point, open WhatsApp on your phone, then go to Settings, and find WhatsApp Web. The app should launch a QR code scanner or give you a way to start scanning.
Scan the QR code displayed on WhatsApp Web - and that's it. You have now paired WhatsApp on your phone with the WhatsApp web client. If there was a problem at any point, make sure you've installed the latest version of WhatsApp on your phone.
Want to know more?
Check out WhatsApp's blog post for more details on this update to WhatsApp Web.