Sunday, October 12, 2014

WhatsApp on PC

Colleagues didn't believe me when I told them they could actually use WhatsApp from a PC.

Turns out there are two options:
  • Install using BlueStacks; a mobile emulator
  • Use (or rather, don't use) Androck + WhatsApp.
AVG detects a virus in the Androck installer. I just instinctively decided to run a scan on the installer, and it turned out to be right.





Bluestacks

BlueStacks on the other hand, seems safe to use. Techrism has a tutorial on how to install and use WhatsApp with BlueStacks. Even I've tried it, and it works fine, but can be a pain as it takes a long time to install (downloads around 30MB of data during installation) and startup.
You might want to de-select App Store synchronization and enablement if you don't want to access the Google App Store from BlueStacks. If you do, then I'd recommend you create a separate GMail account for it, as you're expected to login to the Gmail account from BlueStacks, and there's no guarantee that your password is safe.

If it's stuck at this, it's probably because you have to tell your firewall to allow BlueStacks
After installation, it may ask you whether to allow Google to collect location data. I think it's best to select "Disagree".

Once installation is done you'll see WhatsApp in the Top Apps list. Otherwise, use the search option to find it. If you had enabled the App Store, you'd have to enter your login info twice and then WhatsApp will be ready to install.


Soon you'll see an "Open" button in place of the "install" button. The rest of the procedure is intuitive, where you review the terms of service, enter your country code and mobile number, they verify your phone number by sending you an sms. If the verification fails, they auto-call up and mention a code which you type on the screen. Note that the "Next" button is on the top-right corner of the screen.

Wish the WhatsApp team creates their own PC version of the application.


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