Mac users who have been waiting for a native version of WhatsApp can now download it without restrictions, WaBetaInfo has reported. The new app is optimized for Mac hardware and built with Mac Catalyst, so it should be faster and more efficient than the current web-wrapped Electron version. You also get a new interface with three panels to easily flip between chats, calls, archived and starred messages, while seeing contacts and interactions at a glance.
Apple's Catalyst was designed to allow developers to port iOS apps over to macOS or create just one version that can run on either platform. Since the Mac was developed on Catalyst, that lends some hope that a long-awaited version may also come to iOS. In 2021, Meta said that it was expanding multi-device support for WhatsApp, leading to speculation that an iPad app was forthcoming.
Last year, WhatsApp released a native version for Windows 10 that works without the need for a smartphone. It looks much the same as the Mac app and also offers increased reliability and speed.
The native macOS app has been around for several months on TestFlight, but that only offers limited slots for testers. Now that it's in a full beta, though, you can download it directly from WhatsApp's website.