Much to the dismay of WhatsApp users around the world, the company has yet to release an iPad app. For years the WhatsApp app has been near the top of the App Store charts as one of the most popular chat apps around the world. For one reason or another, WhatsApp and its parent company, Facebook, would prefer users stick to the iPhone. But don’t despair, as there is a way to use WhatsApp on the iPad without any hacking, jailbreaking or modifying of your iPad. The best part? It only takes a few minutes to get started.
1. The first step is to open your Safari browser. Simple so far, right? Don’t worry, it doesn’t get any tougher.
2. Now, type web.whatsapp.com in your Safari search bar and hit “Go.” You will notice right away that you don’t land on the dedicated web portal. Instead, you land on the company’s home page. That is okay because we’re going to reload the page in “Desktop” mode.
3. At the very left end of the search bar in Safari you’ll see an “aA” icon – press and hold on these letters. A long press will bring up a series of options, one of which is “request desktop website.” Tap on that option.
4. As the page reloads, anyone who has previously used the web portal will see a familiar site. Three short options appear on the page giving you directions on how to use WhatsApp on your computer.
5. First, you need to open WhatsApp on your iPhone, tap the settings in the bottom menu and select WhatsApp Web/Desktop in the menu that appears. Android users can tape the three-dot menu icon and hit WhatsApp Web.
6. Using either device, scan the QR code with the rear camera of your smartphone. Immediately after the QR code scans, you’ll immediately see all of your WhatsApp history on the screen.
7. That’s it. You are now able to chat away using the full functionality of the desktop WhatsApp platform right on your iPad.
Now, before you move on to creating a shortcut, there are a few limitations of the iPad app. The first is that voice notes don’t work, as Safari on the iPad isn’t officially supported. You will be able to listen to voice notes, but it is not a two-way system yet. The second limitation is the lack of notifications. The WhatsApp platform doesn’t support notifications of incoming messages on iOS web browsers. In other words, if you want to be notified of an incoming message, you’ll have to leave the browser open. Still, that is a small price to pay until the company gets wise and releases a dedicated iPad app.
Now that we’re all set up with a web browser, it is time to make a shortcut so you can quickly get back to the web app. Like the app itself, creating a shortcut takes just a few seconds.
1. First things first. Hit the “Share” icon in Safari to bring up the menu. That button looks like a square with an arrow pointing north.
2. Once that comes up, click the option you’ll see for “Add to Home Screen.”
3. Here you can rename the application to something other than WhatsApp, but to keep things easy, just hit “Add” at the top right of the share menu.
4. The shortcut icon will appear right on your home screen in the first available space. Pressing it once will open it like any other app and take you right back to the desktop app through Safari. It might take a second or two to reload each time depending on your connection speed, but it will automatically sync any messages you’ve recently sent on your smartphone or laptop.
As easy it was to set up, there’s plenty of hope out there and millions of users who want to see Facebook release a WhatsApp app for the iPad. It would be an immediate download for dedicated users all over the world. Would the iPad app be an instant download for you? Sound off if you’ve given up on WhatsApp until they release an iPad update in the App Store.