A beta of a Catalyst-based WhatsApp Mac app was made available back in June last year, but only to a limited number of users via TestFlight. The app is now available to all Mac users, though is still officially considered a beta version …
The main WhatsApp Mac app is essentially just an Electron wrapper for the web app, making it somewhat clunky and resource-hungry. Apple’s Catalyst technology is designed to let developers bring iOS apps to Mac in a way that allows them to run smoothly and efficiently, and WhatsApp has taken advantage of this.
We tested an early beta back in June.
The new app looks quite different from WhatsApp Desktop, as it is based on WhatsApp for iPhone (and the upcoming iPad version).
9to5Mac was able to try out the new WhatsApp beta app for macOS. A new sidebar lets users access the same tabs available in the iOS app, which are: Chats, Calls, Archived, Starred, and Settings. Other than that, the app works just as you expect.
There are some features that are still not working properly like Status, group calls, location sharing, and audio messages. Of course, as this is a very early beta, these features are likely to be implemented in future updates. When it comes to sending and receiving regular messages and calls, everything works fine – and the app is definitely faster than the Electron version.
It’s worth noting that the new WhatsApp app for macOS is not a standalone WhatsApp client. Instead, it still requires you to link your iPhone or other smartphone with a WhatsApp account.
WABetaInfo notes that the app is now available to all Mac users as a direct download.
After releasing a very limited early-beta program of WhatsApp beta for macOS for a small number of people on TestFlight, WhatsApp has finally made the beta version of its new native app widely available for download on the official website in case you were unable to get it from the TestFlight app.
You can download the app direct from the official website. I’ve just started testing it, complete with an odd change in icon color from green to yellow.
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