Tried it out: WhatsApp is well on the way to becoming a new app for Mac and iPad

WhatsApp has released the new Mac app for testing via its beta channel. It is optically slightly changed and noticeably faster. But what about the iPad?

 Tried it out: WhatsApp is well on the way to becoming a new app for Mac and iPad

Apparently WhatsApp is on the way in the final preparations for the release of a new app for the Mac. Instead of simply publishing the web app in the guise of a native app, as was previously the case, users will in future have a program that looks and feels more like a native Mac app in terms of appearance and operation. WhatsApp uses Apple’s Catalyst toolbox to easily port mobile apps to the desktop. Those who have been accepted into the beta program can already try out the test version.

 Tried it out: WhatsApp on the best way to the new app forü r Mac and iPad

What’s new in the Mac app

The visible difference of the new desktop app is the new sidebar on the left. Among other things, the icons for the screen pages for chats and calls are housed here, which are otherwise to be found at the bottom of the so-called TabBar on smartphones. To the right of this, the app is presented in the usual style as a table view, whereby a closer look reveals that the arrangement of the elements of the user interface corresponds much more to the look and feel of a Mac app than before. The current app is nothing more than a kind of shop window on the web. It is based on the Electron Framework, which allows the development of cross-platform desktop apps based on JavaScript, HTML and CSS.

Switching to a native app also results in improvements in CPU and disk usage memory. When using it, it is noticeable that the app works more smoothly than its predecessor. WhatsApp has not yet announced when the new Mac app will be released.

Catalyst as a great help

Catalyst was presented by Apple at the WWDC 2019 developer conference. The technology introduced in macOS Catalina is part of Apple’s strategy to make it easier for developers to write cross-platform apps for Apple products. Catalyst opened the door for iPad apps that can be released for the Mac with a few tweaks. Developers can use a common code base for this, as interfaces known from the iPad are also available on the Mac through Catalyst. Some user interface elements automatically adapt to the respective platform. A prominent example of the use of Catalyst is the Twitter app, which brought it back to the Mac.

When is the iPad app coming?

That WhatsApp now appears to be an iPad app ported to the Mac via Catalyst, raises the question of whether and when a separate app will appear for the iPad. WhatsApp has not yet commented on this. At the beginning of the year, however, an iPad app was promised.

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