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The new WhatsApp for Mac adds video and audio group calling

The new WhatsApp for Mac adds video and audio group calling

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In addition to up-to-eight-person video calls and up-to-32-person audio calls, the new app has a redesigned UI that will look familiar to any macOS iMessage user.

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A picture showing an iMac running the new native WhatsApp macOS app.
The new WhatsApp native app for macOS.
Image: Meta

WhatsApp has released a redesigned, native WhatsApp app for macOS that brings group calls to Apple’s desktop operating system. The app supports up to eight people in a group video session and as many as 32 in an audio call, both of which will have the same end-to-end encryption featured in its app on other platforms. The app was previously in open beta.

In addition to video calling, users can drag and drop files into chats, and the company says the app also shows more chat history. The design, Meta says, is intended to be “familiar to Mac users,” with a UI that better suits the larger screen of a desktop machine. Indeed, the app borrows a lot more from the macOS built-in Messages than the previous app, as you can see in this screenshot from my own computer:

A screenshot showing the differences between the apps. WhatsApp’s new macOS app has a very similar layout to that of iMessage, with the new message icon, new video and audio call buttons, emoji buttons, and audio message buttons all roughly in the same locations on both apps. The previous macOS WhatsApp app features a layout more similar to the iOS version of the app.
The new macOS WhatsApp app (left) vs. iMessage (top right) vs. the old macOS WhatsApp app (bottom right).
Screenshot: Wes Davis / The Verge

For now, you’ll need to download the app directly from WhatsApp, but Meta writes that it will come to the macOS App Store soon.