WhatsApp — it’s become a ubiquitous part of our mobile lives. There’s no escape; with roughly 250 million active users, there’s a good chance a large chunk of your phonebook contacts use it to talk to you. What started out as a way to avoid paying per message while chatting over SMS, has now become the de facto tool for everything from forwarding jokes and PJs to your groups, to even collaborating with your co-workers. WhatsApp took the best of BlackBerry Messenger (a.k.a BBM) — stuff like always-on, group messaging etc. and bridged this service across all popular mobile platforms, causing a major disruption in the Instant Messaging space.
But off late, WhatsApp has become “disruptive” in the traditional sense of the term too. With messages beeping in almost every other minute, it is a pain to keep checking your phone. It’s especially distracting when you’re working at your computer, since people like me end up using WhatsApp for important conversations and not just chitter-chatter.
Unfortunately, there’s no official WhatsApp client for computers yet. You might say, “How hard is it to create a desktop chat client?”, and we agree that it’s no rocket science in today’s day and age. The problem is that WhatsApp uses your mobile number as your login username. That’s the reason why you can move from one phone to another, and continue conversing with your friends. That’s also the reason why WhatsApp doesn’t readily run on tablets, since they may or may not have a SIM card slot. Or also why you can’t seamlessly sync your chat list across multiple devices. People like the ‘WhizKidd‘ at our office have found a workaround to get WhatsApp running on computers. But the problem here is that you have to assign another phone number, and not the one you’re already using on your smartphone. So, your friends will see two different contacts bearing your name, and this fragmentation doesn’t solve the purpose of a seamless experience of using WhatsApp on your phone and computer.
But that’s no reason to throw in the towel! I’m no programmer, but there have been certain implementations in the past that I hope WhatsApp can possibly use. I’m talking about Nokia Suite (previously known as Ovi Suite) that since years has the ability to sync SMSs by pairing phone to computer over Bluetooth. Or how AirDroid can sync your messages to the computer screen using WiFi.
Using these techniques, if a WhatsApp client was created for Windows, Mac, Linux even, I believe that it will be super convenient to continue using WhatsApp and not resort to requesting people to converse on Google Talk (which supports this kind of computer-smartphone syncing).