Online messaging is in the middle of enjoying a years-long heyday, what with the various platforms that are managing success across various smartphone operating systems. WhatsApp is one of those that has weathered the storm longer than most, and we’re here with login tips to help you get online with WhatsApp no matter where you’re accessing it from. Smartphones? Check. PC? Check. Mac? You bet!
When I think of myself ten years ago, I’m forced to realize that I was still skeptical about the usefulness of touch-screen smartphone technology. I was clinging to an old Motorola brick while the rest of my friends were gung-ho and ready to invest in iPhone. Oh, how the times have changed…since I’ve probably looked at my Apple Watch ten times in the past hour. Smartphone innovation has literally shaped the way that we communicate with each other, opening up a wide variety of options and avenues to keep in touch with the people that we the most about. We don’t even have to rely on traditional text messaging any longer, now that the many available apps on the market can save us from using cellular data to do so.
Near the top of that list of excellent apps is WhatsApp, an old standby that has continued to innovate and evolve to incorporate the features that its millions of users want. Right now, reports indicate that we’re even about to get video calling, which is the last thing separating WhatsApp from its competition.
Apart from that missing link, WhatsApp has a huge majority of the features that people want from a Modern Major General. Oh, I’m sorry–a modern major messaging app. Direct messages, group chats, media messages, video and voice messaging, and voice calling. All of this is wrapped up in an accessible little package that’s streamlined, lightweight, advertisement free, and also free for you to download and use (standard cellular data costs permitting.) While competitors like Snapchat, imo, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and others are certainly viable alternatives, no other app has a background so firmly invested in ensuring users a clean, fast messaging alternative to their device’s usual calling and text functions.
In the following guide, we’ll give you some of the basic ways that you can get onboard with WhatsApp, or even if you’ve been using the app for a while, ways to use it better in your day-to-day life. Many don’t know just how nuanced of an app that it is, how many platforms it’s available on, or the fact that you can easily use WhatsApp from the comfort of your web browser, as long as it’s installed on your smartphone.
As opposed to much of the feature-rich, settings-bloated competition to WhatsApp, this messenger is streamlined and slick. It’s like comparing a fighter jet to a commercial airliner, in a lot of ways. Still, even though it’s so fast and accessible, it doesn’t come without a few caveats during the setup process that you should be aware of, before getting started.
- WhatsApp is primarily meant for smartphones.
- You’ll need to tether the app to a valid smartphone number in order to use it (with only limited exceptions).
- The contacts on your mobile device will be the foundation of your WhatsApp experience.
From all of this, you can surmise that your smartphone is pretty important to being able to use WhatsApp. This includes the WhatsApp web portal, which is going to require you to use a mobile device in order to get connected with it in the first place. This isn’t a limitation that’s isolated to WhatsApp, since out of all the tech that developers assume people to have with them for the majority of the day, the smartphone remains at the top.
The primary appeal of WhatsApp shows up as soon as you search for it on your mobile device’s app store. It’s free to download and free to use. Even though much of its competition touts the same, those other apps also integrate a great deal of advertising that WhatsApp has thus far managed to avoid. This is part of the developers’ overall mission statement, and even after WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook, this hasn’t changed.
In order to get started with anything else having to do with WhatsApp, you have to download and install it! You can access it from your device’s app store very easily (often, it’s an editor-recommended selection, because it’s just that good), but if you’re not sure that your device can support it, check the WhatsApp download portal.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, getting it set up and logging in is a cinch. Your phone number will be automatically tied to your account, and all you’ll be asked for in addition is a display name. If you’d like, you can even import all of your profile information directly from Facebook. Since WhatsApp relies so much on your mobile device’s preexisting databases and contacts, it even manages to automate much of its setup process, and only requires a few granted permission requests from you. Allowing WhatsApp access to your contacts, for example, will allow the app to generate a list of contacts so that you can start messaging people right away!
Here are a few other things you should know about WhatsApp as you’re getting started:
- If you want to take advantage of WhatsApp’s messaging features, your contacts are going to need to have it installed! The app can help you remind them to do this, and it will also tell you which of them are already using the app.
- Video calling is on the way! Much mention is made online of it being the only big feature that WhatsApp is lacking, but beta testing on the Android version of the app have revealed that the feature is well underway.
- The mobile app is the center of your WhatsApp experience. Any use of the web portal or support functions will be dependent upon your profile in WhatsApp!
Even though it’s a very direct, minimalistic app, there’s still a lot of enjoyment to be had. Now that you’re properly logged in, take your time to explore it a little bit and send a few messages! If you already have a few close contacts using WhatsApp (it’s likely!) then try sending a view voice or video messages, if you want to try out some of the app’s newest features.
Though the WhatsApp Web portal is an exceptionally handy little tool, quite a few users don’t understand exactly how it works. Most of the time, it’s talked about like a separate piece of software, which is actually somewhat misleading. Let me clarify:
- What it isn’t: a desktop version of WhatsApp that you can install on your computer. (Thus far, there is not a desktop version of WhatsApp.)
- What it is: a browser-based application that allows you to perform WhatsApp related tasks in your web browser, by tethering it to your mobile device.
Now that this is established, let me elaborate a little bit. When you head over to the WhatsApp web portal, you’ll be confronted with a great big QR code to deal with before you can get on with any actual messaging. This is where your smartphone comes into play.
From within the WhatsApp app (that will never not be awkward to say…) tap over to your settings menu and select “WhatsApp Web.” You’ll need to give the app permission to use your device’s camera, but once you have, all that you need to do is scan the QR code on the screen with your mobile device.
After a brief tethering process, you’ll be good to go! All of the features that you enjoy on your smartphone will briefly be available in your web browser, but your phone has to remain within proximity of the computer you’re using it on. If that tether disconnects, the WhatsApp Web portal won’t function, either!
Since these are the only avenues by which you can “log into” WhatsApp, the above guide should be enough to get you up and rolling with one of the most reliable messaging services available on app stores! Competing messages apps each have their own draws, but oftentimes, they’re too deeply connected to other features (or other apps entirely) to truly provide a standalone replacement to the messaging and calling available through your phone. Snapchat, while brilliant, is a venue for entertainment and media sharing, with an admittedly good messaging service tacked on. Instagram is all about that media feed, and WeChat can be a little bit confusing, at times. The only alternative app to WhatsApp, ironically, is Facebook Messenger. Considering that both are owned by Facebook, and I used both regularly, it’s a little bit of an odd place to be in.
We hope our login tips for WhatsApp Messenger have helped to further introduce you to another great app! If you’ve managed to get online (or if you’re still struggling) drop us a line in the comments below, and let us know how we can help!