When WhatsApp started operations in 2009, the app was strictly meant for use on mobile phones.
In addition, the app was only meant for messaging purposes, but faced by tough competition and the ever-changing consumer demands, the owners of the app have been coming in with lots of new features that no one would have expected five or so years ago.
It’s easy to say that since Facebook took over reigns at WhatsApp, a lot has changed. We’ve seen the introduction of voice and video calling features on the chat app. End-to-end encryption has also come in, but it is the added compatibility with desktops that made some major highlights a while back.
As noted earlier, WhatsApp was meant for use on mobile phones, but a Facebook-inspired change has seen the app available for use on computers. Today, you can check all of your messages as well as reach out to friends on the app without touching your phone. You have the option to do this via the web or download and install WhatsApp for PC.
Since every PC has a web browser, be it Google Chrome, Opera, Firefox Microsoft Edge or Safari (no Internet Explorer), WhatsApp Web is the easiest and most convenient way of carrying your WhatsApp chats to your PC, but it’s not the only one that has this capability.
Last year, Google Allo was launched together with the Pixel phones. The app is here to replace Hangouts, but it’s still young at less than a year old. Google introduced the app with the aim of pushing it to the mobile world, but the tech giant has also been compelled to come in with a Google Allo for Web version in order to stay relevant in the market.
Similar to WhatsApp, Google Allo needs your phone number in order to set up on your phone. The number is used to send a verification code when setting up your account. Once the app is setup, you can now access Allo for Web.
Both apps need the smartphone version in order to get you into the web version. For WhatsApp users, the option to sign into WhatsApp Web is accessible via the three dots at the top of your home screen. Tap on it and from the list that pops up, tap on WhatsApp Web. Leave the phone at that and open any of the aforementioned web browsers. Point the browser to the page web.whatsapp.com. When here, you’ll meet a QR code that needs to be scanned, which is where you go back to your phone and scan the code using the main camera.
Similarly, Google Allo for Web needs you to launch the mobile app and hit the menu option in the top left corner. Here, you’ll see a list of options, but tap on Allo for Web. The app will automatically launch the main camera and with this, you’ll have to scan the QR code at allo.google.com/web in order to be logged in. Your current chats will now appear on your desktop and you can also start a new one.
There are a few settings on each application, where WhatsApp Web users can create a new group, check archived and starred messages as well as play around with the notifications, chat wallpaper as well as block and unblock contacts. It’s also possible to update your status as well as user name from the web version of WhatsApp.
WhatsApp Web also lets users attach a number of files, among them photos and videos, documents as well as contacts. You can also use the computer’s camera to capture a photo and share with friends. As for Google Allo for Web, it’d forgiven for having a limited set of settings or rather features because it has just been unveiled.
Similar to WhatsApp Web, Allo for Web will also migrate all of your conversations to the PC and any new one will be synced to both devices. Other than sending messages, this application will also let you include emojis and stickers, but attachments are still limited to photos only. You can turn message sounds on/off as well as desktop notifications. If you choose to have desktop notifications, you also have the option to enable or disable message previews.
Perhaps the best part of Google Allo for Web is that it comes with support for Google Assistant on the desktop too, which should be great for fans of both Allo and the digital assistant.
Maybe it’s too early to judge Google Allo for Web, but for now, there’s no doubt that WhatsApp Web is way better in just about everything.
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