WhatsApp Web for iPhone users is like MSN Messenger all over again. For the first time you will be able to continue with your group chats from a computer web browser where you left them on your smartphone app. Believe me when I say that WhatsApp with a proper keyboard and mouse has a lot in common to the old instant messaging services like IRC, AOL, ICQ and the almighty MSN Messenger, who ruled the web in the nineties. Do you remember them? How do we get started?
The Facebook-owned free messaging service WhatsApp may not be the quickest to introduce new features so it’s great to see this one coming to iOS, event if it’s been five months after the launch of the web version feature for Android, Windows and Blackberry users. iPhone users finally get the WhatsApp Web treatment.
To use WhatsApp’s web version you don’t need to create a separate account and there’s no password as such. You will be able to log in as long as you have your smartphone with WhatsApp installed and active plus internet connection. When you load the page https://web.whatsapp.com on your desktop you will be given a new QR code to confirm you are the account holder. Although this is unusual for iOS apps, it does work. It’s as simple as pointing your iPhone’s camera to the code and the system will match the mobile app and the web browser.
You can find this option launching WhatsApp on your iPhone and tapping on Settings → WhatsApp Web → Point the camera at the QR code. The app will verify the QR code scanned and the browser will refresh automatically to log you in.
Having a web version of the messaging service without usernames and passwords has its pros and cons. Both devices much remain active and connected to the web for the service to work. WhatsApp recommends keeping your mobile phone on a Wi-Fi network as the data synchronisation can result in additional data usage.
Since the verification is done with your device, this prevents other people from logging in to your account without your authorisation. Nobody can sign in as you unless they have access to your smartphone and there is no way you can reset the account. The service will regularly as you to scan a code, which is useful if you use WhatsApp Web on a shared PC and have forgotten to log out. Unfortunately, it can be annoying if you don’t have your phone with you!