While WhatsApp is primarily a mobile-based app, web and desktop versions also exist to make life easier for anyone looking to keep on top of chat when using their desktop or laptop. These non-mobile versions of WhatsApp are undeniably handy, but they have a major limitation.
At the moment, in order to use WhatsApp on the web or on the desktop, you still need to have you phone with you. But the days of using your phone's camera to scan a QR code to log into WhatsApp could be numbered if beta tests are a good gauge of what's to come.
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The requirement to have your mobile with you is a major limitation of the web/desktop versions of WhatsApp, and it's something that users have been begging to change. Now it seems that WhatsApp has been listening to demands, and is testing a web-based app that doesn't need a connected phone.
A recent version of the WhatsApp Web Beta included the following note for those taking part: "You don't need to keep your phone connected to use WhatsApp Web, desktop and Portal". It also points out: "Up to four devices can be used at once".
Ditch the phone
For anyone who's ever been frustrated by the need to have their phone with them in order to keep in touch with people via WhatsApp, this is massively encouraging. There are numerous reasons why you might not have you mobile available, and it seems crazy that this should stop you from using a non-mobile version of the service.
So, if the features of the beta tests do make their way to the regular release of WhatsApp for the web and desktop, the implications are huge. It means that if you leave your phone at home and want to use WhatsApp online in the office, if you lose your mobile, if your smartphone is being repaired – or if you just want greater flexibility – WhatsApp will, hopefully, soon be able to cater to your desires.
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Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 20 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fueled by technology, music and nature.
Having written for websites and magazines since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.
Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy. Her other loves include walking, music, her two Malamutes and, of course, her wife and daughter.