I find WhatsApp to be the best all-round messaging app. It has great end-to-end encryption, and its ubiquity in the communication space makes it a solid messaging app of choice.
It started off in 2009 by two former Yahoo employees, and exploded in popularity. 1 billion users later, it still does not have an iPad client.
While not a big inconvenience, it would be great to be able to check my WhatsApp messages without my iPhone needing to be there. Slack, my favorite multiplatform messaging app, already does this. So does Google Hangouts, Line, and Facebook Messenger
An example of use cases for WhatsApp on the iPad is if your phone is charging at another part of the room, or if you put your phone away to minimize distractions while you work but need just a quick check of your unread messages.
It’s a bit of a workaround, but this method works pretty well. It also works in Split View and with external keyboard support.
1. Navigate to WhatsApp’s web client page
The URL is https://web.whatsapp.com. Tap on the “WhatsApp Web” link on the header of the page.
You should be seeing a QR code. If you’re not seeing it, open up the share sheet and tap on “request desktop site.”
2. Scan the QR code from your phone
The in-app QR scanner will pop up. Place the code displayed on your iPad in the scanner’s viewfinder.
3. Send messages!
It’s not as fully-functional as the phone client, but it gets the job done. You can’t receive notifications, and sending audio files doesn’t work.
Also, this iPad workaround only works if your phone has an active internet connection. If your phone is turned off (or is in airplane mode), you won’t be able to use WhatsApp on your iPad.
Hopefully in the future, WhatsApp will focus on an iPad or tablet version of their app. It’s a great messaging platform with a broad and excellent feature set. Recent news of WhatsApp planning to introduce digital payment methods through the app is a clear indication that the Facebook-owned company has big plans for the future.
However, those requiring an iPad client without a phone restriction should look at other messaging platforms, at least for now.
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