WhatsApp has made available a beta version of its native macOS app that is compatible with Apple Silicon.
Mac users with Apple’s own chip and running macOS 11 Big Sur or later can download the test version.
Those with Intel Macs that can run apps created using Mac Catalyst, which is Apple’s program for porting iPad apps, will also be able to use the native app.
According to WABetaInfo, WhatsApp first made its native macOS app available for testing in a limited capacity last July. This initial release was only accessible through Apple’s TestFlight platform, which meant that only a small group of users were able to try out the app.
Prior to this, Mac users had limited options for using WhatsApp, having to rely on either the web version or a web-based client. Both of these options had limitations in terms of performance and features.
The new native app is currently in beta testing phase, meaning that it may have some bugs or glitches. Users are encouraged to report any issues they encounter by clicking on the bug icon located in the bottom left corner of the app.
WhatsApp first introduced its desktop applications in 2016 (the native Windows app was released in 2021), but with the shift to Apple’s new processor in 2020, a native client was necessary. In 2021, WhatsApp began experimenting with allowing multiple devices to be linked to a single account, enabling users to receive messages even if their phone is not connected to the internet.
On the mobile side, WhatsApp has been doing great in terms of introducing new features: users can now send ‘see once’ media, where users are not allowed to take screenshots; and it will soon allow users to send media in full resolution.