WhatsApp is about to end the long wait for an iPad app, according to a newly released beta version for Apple devices.
While iPhone, Apple Watch (by enabling notifications) Mac, and the Safari browser are all compatible with the Meta-owned communications app, iPad users have been out in the cold. At least from a native app perspective.
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That’s about to change, according to the WABetaInfo report, which shows closed beta testers are now able to use the app natively on iPad.
The advantage, of course, is similar to using on desktop; the ability to use a tabbed interface with the chat list on the left and the message content of the selected chat on the right. The app can be connected to a WhatsApp account in the usual fashion, by scanning a QR code with your phone.
A test version of the app, which is available only to members of the closed beta via TestFlight, is the first proper confirmation we’ve seen that an iPad app is coming. You can see it manifest in the image below.
It’s been more than 18-months since WhatsApp chief Will Cathcart confirmed (via The Verge): “People have wanted an iPad app for a long time. We’d love to do it.”
Initially, there was a reason for WhatsApp to avoid an iPad; the need for connection to a phone number to sync to other devices. Remember when you’d lose connection to the web-based version if, for instance, your phone batter died, for example?
These days, while you still need an active phone number for WhatsApp, the various apps don’t require the phone to be connected to the internet in order to send and receive messages. The fully web-based element has been great for syncing content between the various apps and all without without breaking the end-to-end encryption.
An iPad app would be the cherry on the cake for some users, and it now appears to be in the works. WhatsApp has been great for pushing features out quickly in recent months, so this might arrive sooner rather than later.