WhatsApp is the world’s most popular IM client with more than 600 million active users. Up to now WhatsApp was only available on mobile devices. But this week saw the Facebook-owned company release a web browser-based extension that will allow users to access, read and respond to messages from the comfort of their laptops and PCs.
There is a catch, though: no support for Apple’s iPhone –– any of them. Ditto for iPad. The reason? Limitations inside iOS prevent this kind of service, which kind of sucks. But, hey, at least you have Hand Off on iOS and OS X Yosemite.
"Today, for the first time, millions of you will have the ability to use WhatsApp on your web browser," WhatsApp said in its blog. "Your phone needs to stay connected to the internet for our web client to work, and please make sure to install the latest version of WhatsApp on your phone.”
To connect the web browser to WhatsApp client, users need to open 'web.Whatsapp.Com' in Google Chrome browser and scan the QR code inside of WhatsApp.
"WhatsApp's web interface only supports Google Chrome," reports The Times of India. "So if you use Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer, you're out of luck. A number of IT environments restrict the use of applications not approved by admins. If you're part of one and can't use Chrome, you'll not be able to use WhatsApp for web. WhatsApp's justification is that Chrome's push technology is better."
WhatsApp for Browser currently supports Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10. There’s no word on when the feature will –– if at all –– come to Apple’s iOS platform.
Our advice? Don’t hold your breath. Apple locks down iOS tighter than, well, any other mobile platform out there. The company also probably takes a dim view of WhatsApp too, seeing as it competes directly with iMessage for iPhone and iPad.
No doubt those will jailbroken iPhones will be able to find a workaround. For everybody else though it is Hand Off or nothing.