Typing on a little Smartphone screen is a pain and happily there are PC desktop, Mac and tablet extensions for both WhatsApp and Signal.
There are ‘big screen’ options to read and send WhatsApp and Signal messages from a larger screen. A Windows PC, Mac computer or a tablet device (iPad, Android etc).
Past messages sent or received appear for each contact or group. The desktop extension is also an easier way to copy/paste text or images with chats. Right-click on any image and choose Copy Image’.
It’s a lot easier to send or receive documents (Word, Excel etc.) with a desktop machine than a phone. Sending photos, camera shots, documents or contacts from the paperclip icon.
Last year, many tried and were disappointed with the desktop programs or web extension when they were first released. Since then, WhatsApp has been quietly improving and stabilizing the extensions so they’re worth another look.
How the Whatsapp extensions work
All these methods work by linking an app or special web page to the existing smartphone app. The two are linked together then incoming/outgoing messages are routed through the device to the desktop.
The desktop or tablet links via the same local network for the connection. Usually the connection happens automatically when the PC, Mac or tablet are in Wifi range of the smartphone. When you leave with your smartphone, the desktop link breaks. It reconnects automatically when you return.
WhatsApp for PC or Mac
Download WhatsApp for Windows or Mac and install on your computer. Follow the steps to authenticate your WhatsApp device/account with your computer. From the WhatsApp app, choose WhatsApp web then the + plus sign to add a device. It scans a QR code that the desktop program will display.
Once authenticated you won’t have to do that again unless the computer or device apps change.
For tablet devices or anything else, you can use WhatsApp web. It’s the same idea as the PC/Mac programs except it runs in a special, local, web page.
Go to http://web.whatsapp.com and follow the steps to link your WhatsApp app and device with the web page.
WhatsApp is commonly used and hard to avoid but it’s not a secure or private as it should be. A better choice for the privacy conscious is Signal.
Signal has a similar extension system to WhatsApp except it works via a Chrome browser plugin.
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