WhatsApp has reportedly been working on a new all-inclusive app for macOS since last year. The company has just released a beta version of its new macOS app, built using Mac Catalyst tech, ahead of an official launch. Catalyst is Apple’s developer platform for switching iOS and iPadOS apps over to Mac.
The new WhatsApp beta is native to Apple Silicon (M1 and M2) machines, but it’ll also work on Intel-sporting Macs that support Catalyst. It features a unique design over the app currently available in the Mac App Store.
The updated WhatsApp for Mac will eventually replace the existing app, says WABetaInfo. The older app is built on the Electron framework. It’s basically a wrapper for WhatsApp Web, making it slower and more resource-heavy than it should be. It’s certainly less efficient than WhatsApp for iOS. This new desktop beta will probably have a fair bit in common with the upcoming iPadOS version of the app — which isn’t hard, since Catalyst is designed for this sort of thing.
As you can see in the above screenshot, there are some new features. A new sidebar, on the left, and shortcuts to Starred and Archived messages are among the new features. According to 9to5Mac, features such as status, group calls, location sharing, and audio messages are still a little buggy. That’s to be expected from a very early beta, but you can still try it if you want to.
How to get WhatsApp beta for macOS
The new Catalyst beta version is available via TestFlight. To install the beta, you will need to install TestFlight on your Mac first, and join using this link. The pairing process works similarly to WhatsApp Desktop. Keep in mind that slots are limited, so they might all have vanished by the time you attempt to sign up.
There are no details on when the app will become widely available to users.