WhatsApp’s new Windows app no longer requires you to connect your phone in order to send, receive, and sync messages. According to an update on WhatsApp’s website, the refreshed Windows app is no longer in beta and is now available for download from the Microsoft Store.
Previously, Windows users had to download WhatsApp’s web-based desktop app or use their web browsers to access the messaging service. According to WhatsApp, the new app is native to Windows, which should make it faster and more responsive.
When compared to the previous version of the app, the redesigned WhatsApp has a slightly cleaner interface but otherwise doesn’t look all that different. The most significant change is that you no longer need to keep your phone connected to the internet in order to sync messages between your phone and the desktop app. WhatsApp says it is currently developing a native app for macOS.
WhatsApp’s multi-device feature has been fully implemented and is no longer in beta. This allows you to connect up to four devices to your WhatsApp account without having to use your phone, all while maintaining end-to-end encryption.
Because WhatsApp currently only allows you to link computers to your account, adding support for tablets (or possibly an additional phone) would only make sense.
However, there are some limitations to using linked devices. You can’t, for example, clear or delete chats if you use an iPhone as your primary device. You can’t also send messages with link previews from WhatsApp web, message or call someone using a “very old version” of WhatsApp, or view live locations.