Although the experience is practically the same whether we access WhatsApp from the browser as if we do it from the desktop program, there are some nuances that can tip the balance in favor of one or the other, always depending on the needs of each one. These are the differences of WhatsApp Web depending on how we use it.
Accessing WhatsApp from the web or the app
As we have already mentioned, the first difference is the way in which we access the service. In the case of using WhatsApp Web, all we have to do is go to web.whatsapp.com from the browser, while if we opt for the app we will have to download it and then install it on our computer. The application is available on the official WhatsApp website for both Windows and MacOS.
This is the only difference as far as access is concerned, since afterward the system is identical; we will have to scan the QR code with the mobile and our account will be linked to the computer.
At the interface level we do not have any notable difference. On the left are the latest chats, the search section and several icons from where we can access the states, open a new chat or access the configuration options and other settings. The only difference is that the new chat icon is different, with a + symbol for the desktop version and a message icon for the browser version.
Menu and settings
Speaking of the menu, there are no differences between the two options. Here we can create a new group or room, check our profile, open archived or starred chats, enter Settings or log out.
Regarding the configuration menu, we do not have as many options as on mobile, but it allows us to control desktop notifications, light or dark theme, wallpaper and blocked contacts. Here there is a difference and it is that the ‘Desktop settings’ option only appears if we install the app. What we can do here is configure WhatsApp to open automatically when we start the computer.
Both versions will show us notifications with each new message, with the only difference being that it indicates whether it comes from Google Chrome (or whatever browser) or from the application. Of course, in the case of accessing from the browser you have to give permission so that you can show us these notifications.
What we lose in the web version is power view the number of unread messages on the app icon on the taskbar. If you prefer to have the sound deactivated, it comes in handy so you don’t miss any alerts.
Calls and video calls
As you can see, so far the differences are rather minimal, but there is a function that the balance tips in favor of the desktop app. It’s about calls and video calls, a feature that until a while ago was only available in the mobile app but now we can also enjoy it on the computer.
To be able to make a voice call or a video call, all we have to do is enter the chat we want and click on the corresponding icon in the upper right corner of the window. Be sure to have the speaker and microphone configured correctlyyou can do it by pressing the three dots button that appears next to the hang up button.
As we said at the beginning, the choice of which version to choose depends on the needs of each moment. For example, in my case I have the program installed on the computer because that way I don’t load the browser so much, which already has quite a few tabs open as normal. Also, it barely weighs 150 MB so it does not pose any space problem. However, WhatsApp Web is much better if I enter from the laptop or another computer that is not mine. I don’t have to download anything and after logging out, all I have to do is close the browser tab.
What is clear is that if you want to make video calls, you have to download the program since this option does not exist in the browser. Of course, if you don’t need them, perhaps the web version is the most interesting for you. And you, which one do you prefer?