WhatsApp wants to be available to users regardless of the platform they are using. The chat started as a mobile-only app and a few years later, a WhatsApp Web platform that allows users to connect through PCs, showed up.
If any of the latest reports are to be believed, the Facebook-owned WhatsApp is now thinking of something else. Apparently, using WhatsApp Web on PCs requires that one logs into the desktop platform via the phone app. In addition, the phone must be kept connected to the internet, otherwise, you will lose connection via the Web platform. In short, WhatsApp Web is not a native application that can work independently on desktops, just like there are native apps for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry as well as some Nokia devices.
Facebook wants this reliance on the native phone apps when connecting with friends via WhatsApp Web to end. As a result, it is reported that the company is working on a new native app for desktops. Introducing a native WhatsApp for desktops would mean the app works just like Skype, running independent of any other app, but with syncing of messages and contacts still in place.
While the company has not confirmed anything regarding the leaked screenshots showing options for downloading a Mac OS X and Windows version of the app, the snippets somehow seem legit. This is a move that will see mobile phones dropped as a requirement for using the app. The app will also be presenting itself to a new market.
WhatsApp video calling in the works
In other news, the Facebook-owned chat app is also planning to add some more new features for mobile phone users. Just recently, it was reported that WhatsApp is working on adding instant call back, voicemail as well as ability to share ZIP files in the upcoming versions. In the latest reports, the company is reportedly planning to introduce what has remained to be an elusive feature for the more than 1 billion people that use the app.
In the latest beta version, users are reportedly seeing a video calling option located in the info sharing section right from within a contact. However, this version is only available for iOS users, but we expect to see it hit Android devices sooner than later.
WhatsApp now comes to join the likes of Skype, Google Hangouts and Facebook Messenger in offering video calling services across platforms.