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WhatsApp launches desktop version of app


WhatsApp launches desktop version of app

Messaging service WhatsApp has recently launched a version of its app for desktop users in a bid to help them keep up to date with their friends and family.

The desktop version of the app will be compatible with all computers with Windows 8 or newer, and Mac OS 10.9 users. The tool has been designed so that users “never miss a message again.”
It will sync up with a user’s mobile app and is described by the company as an extension of a user’s mobile phone. The desktop version will simply mirror the messages and conversations straight from each device.

As well as being able to access messages online, there are also a number of keyboard shortcuts available to users. This includes Ctrl or Command (depending on the computer you use), Shift and M to mute conversations and Ctrl, Shift and U to change the read status of a particular message. These shortcuts make the desktop version of the service an enhanced version of the mobile app.

Although these shortcuts offer something different, there is no real change to the service apart from the fact that it is unable to offer the calling capabilities of the mobile version. Despite this, it brings the platform to the same level as other messaging apps such as Hangouts and Facebook Messenger, which also have desktop versions.

Further to this introduction, WhatsApp also recently rolled out a new encryption update across the platform so that users can keep all of their conversations secure. All users were notified of this update with a message in a yellow band appearing in every conversation thread.

The update uses end-to-end encryption, which is a method of securely transmitting a message so that it can only been seen by the intended recipient. It also ensures that the messages, calls and media files cannot be intercepted by anyone accessing the networks or servers in which the messages were sent.

According to a blog post published by the company last month, this form of encryption will protect users and their data from hackers, cybercriminals and even WhatsApp officials.

WhatsApp is owned by social networking giant Facebook, which purchased the company back in 2014 for a sum of $19bn (£11bn). The service has around one billion active users as of February 2016, according to the fast-growing company, which is based in Mountain View, California.

Alan Littler
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