iPad users have been waiting for a long time for WhatsApp to be natively available on the iPadOS platform. However, despite the popular instant messaging tool picking up numerous feature additions over the years, an iPadOS app has remained missing.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hinted at a WhatsApp app for iPadOS back in August last year, but we saw no official rollout since. However, that could be changing sooner than we thought.
In a new interview with The Verge, WhatsApp head Will Cathcart hinted at the possibility of a native app for the iPad. “People have wanted an iPad app for a long time. We’d love to do it,” Cathcart said. While this does hint at the fact that developers at Facebook could be working on a dedicated WhatsApp for iPad app, it still doesn’t indicate any date or rough timeline to look forward to.
WhatsApp’s inability to be used on multiple devices with the same account for the longest time had reportedly been the root cause of the app not natively being available outside the Android and iOS platform. The way WhatsApp’s data is encrypted didn’t allow chats to be synced across multiple devices.
WhatsApp has however, been working on that front. “We did a lot of work on the technology for supporting multiple devices,” Cathcart said in the interview, adding that the company’s web and desktop apps can now connect to your phone’s WhatsApp account.
“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,” Cathcart said.
The platform’s multi-device beta currently supports up to 4 devices for an account and doesn’t require the main account on the smartphone to be connected at all times, instead allowing the linked devices to function independently.