Chat on WhatsApp from a Mac with WhatsMac
WhatsApp is a popular messaging tool for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows phone users, but it has long been missing desktop clients… until now, anyway. For Mac users, you can now chat through WhatsApp directly from OS X by using a free app called WhatsMac.
With WhatsMac you’ll be able to chat in WhatsApp as usual, view media that has been sent through chat, and get notifications of new messages through OS X Notification Center. At the moment, media uploading doesn’t work outside of drag & drop, but since most other features do and you’re probably just using the app to have text conversations, that’s not much of a loss.
You’ll need to have WhatsApp working and associated with a phone number first, then users can grab WhatsMac from the developer over at Github:
- Go here to the WhatsMac github page to get the download
If you have Gatekeeper enabled (as most Mac users should), you’ll need to run the app around Gatekeeper by right-clicking and choosing “Open”.
For those who are curious how this works, WhatsMac is actually a wrapper to the web based WhatsApp messenger client, but it’s well done enough that you probably won’t notice that. It’s open source, so the extra curious can even poke around and see how the whole thing works, interacting with WhatsApp on the web. You’ll need to scan the QR code from a compatible WhatsApp mobile app to get it working (if there is a way around that, let us know, since that is a limitation for iPhone users).
Speaking of the web client, if WhatsMac isn’t doing it for you for whatever reason, anyone can also choose to run WhatsApp from the web here through the web based service, though you’ll still need a mobile app to get started (obviously, since WhatsApp is linked to phone numbers). The WhatsApp web app works on any platform with a modern web browser, not just OS X. As several commenters have pointed out, the current version of WhatsApp for iPhone doesn’t allow QR code scanning, which means the WhatsApp for web and WhatsMac tools are only available for WhatsApp users coming from iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and WindowsPhone. An update for the iOS app an web app will bring that critical QR code ability remains to be seen.
So, if you want to use WhatsApp on the Mac, try out WhatsMac, it works quite well. Perhaps WhatsApp will allow third party client connections down the road, much like its cousin Facebook Chat, which works great in the Mac Messages app. Yes this works with iPhones at the, you can also try this workaround.
Thanks to Aaron for sending this in! If you find any neat apps or utilities that you think other Mac and iOS users would enjoy, let us know!