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WhatsApp Chief Will Cathcart in Favour of Releasing iPad App: Report

Like Instagram for the iPad, a version of WhatsApp for Apple's tablet has long eluded users.

WhatsApp Chief Will Cathcart in Favour of Releasing iPad App: Report

"People have wanted an iPad app for a long time," Will Cathcart

Highlights
  • Cathcart didn’t commit to the release of an iPad version
  • Beta version of multi-device support syncs WhatsApp on up to four devices
  • WhatsApp iPad may come sometime soon

Whatsapp's chief has recently revealed that they are in favour of releasing an iPad app.

"People have wanted an iPad app for a long time," Will Cathcart, the head of WhatsApp at its parent company Meta, told The Verge during an interview this week.

"We'd love to do it," Cathcart added.

Like Instagram for the iPad, a version of WhatsApp for Apple's tablet has long eluded users despite being a heavily requested feature.

While Cathcart wouldn't go so far as to commit to the release of an iPad version, his comments suggest it's possible that one will be built in the near future, especially now that WhatsApp has built the underlying technology needed for such a client to work.

"We did a lot of work on the technology for supporting multiple devices," Cathcart said, referencing the rollout of opt-in, multi-device support for WhatsApp last year.

"Our web and our desktop apps now have that. If I have multi-device on, I can turn my phone off or lose my network connection and still get messages on my desktop. That would be really important for a tablet app, to be able to use the app even if your phone isn't on. So the underlying technology is there," he shared.

Because of the way WhatsApp encrypts messages, it historically hasn't been able to sync chats across devices over the internet like most other messaging apps work. So if WhatsApp on your phone didn't have access to the internet, the desktop client didn't work.

The beta version of multi-device support lets you sync your WhatsApp account on up to four devices at a time, a process that involves mapping device identifiers to an account key on WhatsApp's servers in a way that's still encrypted.

Now that such syncing technology exists, there's a good chance that WhatsApp for iPad is finally on the horizon.


Why is 5G taking so long? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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Further reading: WhatsApp, Will Cathcart, Meta, iPad, Apple
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