WhatsApp's native app for macOS enters public beta

Jan 26, 2023

WhatsApp native app for macOS is now available in public beta. The Meta-owned messaging service had initially confirmed that it was working on a new Mac app in August 2022, when it released its UWP app on Windows.

WhatsApp's native app for macOS enters public beta

WhatsApp's beta app for Mac was available in a closed beta program through the Testflight app, but it had limited seats. This restriction is no longer in place, head to the official website to download the WhatsApp native app for macOS.

WABetaInfo, who spotted the app first, reports that the native version for macOS is built with Mac Catalyst framework. This will allow it to run on macOS and iPadOS, so it is possible that it could come to Apple's tablets in the future. The new beta version of the desktop app is compatible with devices running on macOS Big Sur or later.

The current version of the app is WhatsApp You cannot use it alongside WhatsApp Desktop Beta (non-native app), so you will have to replace the existing program with the new build. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as the old app is based on Electron, and was quite slow.

To get started with the new WhatsApp for Mac, sign into your account by scanning the QR code displayed on the screen using WhatsApp's Menu > Linked Devices page on your mobile phone. It also prompts you to allow notifications for WhatsApp from the macOS Settings so that it can show the banners as new messages arrive. The app's interface has been redesigned, it doesn't look like the Windows version.

An important difference between the old and the new macOS app is the side-panel which has 5 tabs: Chats, Calls, Archived, Starred and Settings. The sidebar can be toggled by clicking the button above it. You can now drag and drop files to WhatsApp's window, to share media or documents with your contacts or in group chats. The Settings section in the app has been modernized as well, you can use it to manage your Privacy, Storage and Data including the media quality and network usage, etc.

WhatsApp for macOS new design

WhatsApp has removed the keyboard shortcuts page that the old version had, and the legacy hotkeys don't work anymore. This is something that we may need to keep an eye on.

As for the performance, there is a very noticeable difference, the app starts instantly. I had no trouble viewing videos, images, GIFs, emojis, etc. Everything seems to work as expected, and the overall experience is quite fluid compared to the laggy mess of the old app.

One thing that needs improvement in the new app is the way it handles notifications, I couldn't get the notification banners to appear on the edge of the screen, even though I had allowed the app to show them. It does place a badge on the app's icon on the dock, which is helpful, but not as good as a proper banner.

I was impressed with the WhatsApp beta for Windows when it was launched last year, but recently the app has been rather poor in terms of performance, it becomes quite laggy and unresponsive. The problem seems to surface randomly, gets fixed in an update, and reappears again. It definitely needs to be optimized.

WhatsApp's native app for macOS enters public beta
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WhatsApp's native app for macOS enters public beta
WhatsApp's native app for macOS has entered public beta. We take a look at the changes that it brings.

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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments (https://www.ghacks.net/chatgpt-gets-schooled-by-princeton-university/#comments). Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If ghacks.net intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this Friend.tech as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/08/23/what-is-friend-tech/] and it appears there but as well here at [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/07/08/how-to-follow-everyone-on-threads/]

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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