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It wasn’t long ago when WhatsApp to 2.16.73 was made available to download for mobile Android users, but the messaging service has jumped to the desktop arena with the WhatsApp desktop app. From a mobile to a desktop platform, it certainly has come a long way.

The desktop app works as an extension of your mobile phone. That is, whatever conversations and messages that you have on your mobile device will be mirrored on your computer. So whether you are using your phone or computer, chat conversations will sync across all devices.

What makes the desktop app different from the mobile app?

Feature-wise, there isn’t much difference between the platforms. Users can still make a call, send and receive messages, and share files. The difference is the support and some functionalities. Because WhatsApp desktop app runs natively on your computer, there is support for native desktop notifications, keyboard shortcuts, which would be easier to do with a full-on keyboard, and much more.

Windows Computer Keyboard Shortcuts

Ctrl + E – archive a chat

Ctrl + Shift + M – to mute

Ctrl + Shift + U – change the read status of message

Ctrl + Backspace – delete a message

Ctrl + F – launches search bar

Ctrl + N – start a new chat

Ctrl + Shift + N – start a new group chat

As for the keyboard shortcuts on a Mac computer, simply replace Ctrl with the equivalent Command Key (Cmd) of the shortcuts listed above to get the same functions. For example, Cmd + E to archive a chat conversation.

Not everyone might be happy with WhatsApp on a desktop as it would only work on Windows 8 64-bit and newer. Considering that most people are sticking with Windows 7, what with the many problems on the newer versions, it can only cater to a limited number of users. The upside is that notifications will appear in the Action Centre of Windows 8 to 10.

As for Mac, it will run on OS X 10.9 and newer.

It is also important to note that you would need your mobile phone to log on to WhatsApp desktop app for the first time. Before you can get into your account, you’ll need to scan a QR code provided with the app download, using your phone. It’s a confusing process that would hopefully be made more convenient.

WhatsApp on Android has added capabilities that are also available in the desktop app. So what you can do on your phone, you can do on your computer.