WhatsApp has announced today they’re launching desktop apps for Windows and OS X. From the WhatsApp blog:
Today we’re introducing a desktop app so you have a new way to stay in touch anytime and anywhere - whether on your phone or computer at home or work. Like WhatsApp Web, our desktop app is simply an extension of your phone: the app mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device.
The new desktop app is available for Windows 8+ and Mac OS 10.9+ and is synced with WhatsApp on your mobile device. Because the app runs natively on your desktop, you’ll have support for native desktop notifications, better keyboard shortcuts, and more.
Note how WhatsApp continues to use apps for other platforms as extensions of the phone app – the Mac app is, effectively, an interactive display for the WhatsApp database stored on your mobile device.
Side note: I’ve used WhatsApp Web on my iPad, and it works okay if you request a desktop site in Safari or use something like iCab to permanently change the browser’s user agent.