One of the most hyped desktop apps to arrive on Mac OS in recent years is WhatsApp. The popular communication app made a name for itself on mobile devices as people were drawn to its easy-to-use interface and wealth of features for chatting around the world.
Now, many of those same features have been packed into an official WhatsApp desktop app for Mac OS desktop computers and laptops.
Avid users of WhatsApp will be excited to know that the app they love on their smartphone is now available on desktop as well so they can carry their conversations wherever they choose to go.
Of course, as with any new app, there is a question about the compatibility of WhatsApp for Mac.
Will the experience be as simple and seamless as the mobile app or are updates cumbersome, annoying, and time consuming?
In this guide, we will walk through what exactly WhatsApp is for the uninitiated, some of the features included on the desktop client, and how to update WhatsApp for Mac if you find you are running into some difficulties.
So, without further delay, let’s jump right in!
What Exactly Is WhatsApp?
WhatsApp was founded back in 2009 by two former Yahoo employees. The app was created for the iPhone originally and allowed users to communicate easily through the app with notifications keeping users aware of new messages from friends and family.
Later, the app was also developed and released for the Android and Blackberry platforms.
To put it simply, WhatsApp is a free, cross-platform messaging app. The cross-platform feature is what has helped this app launch itself into the conversation among the most popular apps of all-time.
WhatsApp solved the challenge that developers for Apple, Android, and Blackberry either couldn’t or wouldn’t solve: seamless communication using any connected device.
In fact, WhatsApp became so popular that it was purchased by Facebook for a total of $16 billion in combined cash and stock. Since the acquisition, WhatsApp has introduced new features, removed advertisements, and dropped the annual subscription fee.
Today, over 700 million people use the app and 100 million calls are made every single day through WhatsApp. This makes WhatsApp a top competitor among other services like FaceTime, Google Duo, Skype, iMessage, Telegram, and Discord.
What Does WhatsApp For Mac Offer?
In 2016, WhatsApp announced an official desktop app for Windows and Mac OS.
Prior to this, there were only third party solutions. Obviously the introduction of additional platforms was great news for WhatsApp fans.
The new desktop app allowed WhatsApp users to sync their mobile conversations to a desktop environment and vice versa. Users could now carry on a mobile conversation, sit down at their desktop, continue the conversation, and then seamlessly move back to mobile with little to no additional effort on their part.
It’s easy to see why there was so much hype surrounding the WhatsApp for Mac desktop app.
However, the desktop app is missing some noticeable features that are present on the mobile version. For example, users cannot make audio or video calls using the desktop app. If users want to make an audio or video call through WhatsApp, they will have to use their mobile device.
Still, despite that missing feature, it’s still very handy to have the free Mac OS desktop app available for text conversations.
Of course, keeping the app updated is essential to ensure there are no missed communications or new feature introductions.
That brings us to the main point of this article: how to update WhatsApp for Mac.
Don’t Overthink The Update Process
The good news is that updating WhatsApp for Mac is a relatively simple and straightforward process. The power of a desktop app that syncs easily with a mobile app can cause some people to overthink the situation and assume that updating WhatsApp is harder than it really is.
First off, you have to make sure you have downloaded and installed the official WhatsApp desktop app. There are some third party services available that offer WhatsApp support but, for the purpose of this guide, we want to use the official app from WhatsApp.
To download the app, simply navigate to the Mac App Store and search for “WhatsApp.” If you are having trouble finding the Mac App Store, you can look for the icon in your dock or simply click your Apple icon at the top left corner of your display. Then click “Mac App Store” from the options that appear in the drop down menu.
Once you have installed WhatsApp, you should have the most current version – which means seamless, easy communication. Of course, once a new update rolls out, you are going to need to ensure you update WhatsApp to ensure the best performance possible.
To check and see if an update is available, you will, once again, want to navigate to the Mac App Store. There is an icon that shows available updates as well as recent update history. If an app is shown in this section with a grey update button then that means there is an update available. Clicking the button will begin the download and update process. In some cases, you may have to accept permissions before the update is completed and installed.
It’s as easy as that!
Updating WhatsApp only takes a few clicks and a minute of your time. Of course, there is a way to make this process even easier. Automatic updates can speed up the process and complete updates without you even having to lift a finger.
Turn On Mac App Store Automatic Updates
Automatic updates are an easy and convenient way to ensure WhatsApp and a number of other apps you have installed from the Mac App Store are updated with the most current software. Enabling automatic updates ensures that you don’t miss any important updates that could include bug fixes, new features, or security updates.
Best of all, it only takes a moment to enable automatic updates and then you can enjoy the simplicity and convenience of automatic updates into the future for all of your apps.
To enable automatic updates, you will want to click the Apple icon at the top left corner of your display. In the drop down menu you will then want to open “System Preferences.”
Once inside System Preferences, you should look for “App Store” and click on that option.
You will see an option for automatic updates that says “Automatically check for updates.” Next to this there is a check box. If the box is checked then your system will automatically search for updates regularly. Below that option are several sub-options that allow you to customize your automatic update experience.
For example, if you want your Mac to download updates but wait for your permission to install then you can set your preferences to reflect that. On the other hand, if you want updates to download and install automatically, you can also choose that option. You have the flexibility to choose what is right for you.
Once you have set your preferences, you no longer need to worry about manually checking for updates and missing out on important updates as they are pushed out.
Some Additional Things To Consider
Of course, updating isn’t always as simple as making sure the Mac App Store has downloaded and installed the newest desktop version. If you are finding sync issues or any other type of bug after updating, you may want to consider a few other things before submitting a ticket to WhatsApp customer support.
First, ensure that your version of Mac OS is up to date and it meets the requirements of the version of WhatsApp you are trying to use. If you are using an older Mac that doesn’t meet the minimum requirements of WhatsApp, you may run into difficulties when updating.
Also, check to ensure that your mobile app is updated. On iPhone you would check this in the App Store and on Android you would take a look inside the Play Store. An out-of-date mobile app could cause syncing and performance issues on your connected desktop.
You’re Good To Go!
That’s it! If you have followed all of the tips above then you should have a fully updated version of WhatsApp for Mac.
Once fully updated, you will be able to enjoy all of the great features WhatsApp has to offer and, most importantly, carry your conversations across any device you choose to use.