It looks like WhatsApp is finally embracing the cross-device support it launched earlier this year. Services new windows app can sync and send messages even when your phone is offline, meaning you no longer need to keep a smartphone handy to use WhatsApp on a computer.
And unlike the old Electron-based WhatsApp software, this new app runs natively on Windows. So not only does it look good, but it should be faster and more reliable than previous WhatsApp desktop software.
You can install the new app from the Windows Store. The app will guide you through the account linking process, which requires a phone. But once everything is set up, WhatsApp for Windows will work as a standalone application. It even offers full end-to-end encryption.
Note that you still cannot use WhatsApp without setting it up on a smartphone first. WhatsApp requires a phone number – it’s standard for mobile messaging apps, including Signal and Telegram (which also have standalone desktop apps).
Again, WhatsApp’s new desktop software is available on the Windows Store. Meta says it’s currently developing a native macOS version of this app, so Mac users shouldn’t feel like they’re missing out.