Senior Staff Writer, MacworldSEP 20, 2023 6:38 am PDT
WhatsApp is an incredibly popular iPhone app, connecting more than a billion active members around the world every day. It lets you send messages to friends, or groups of friends, over Wi-Fi or 4G/5G and make savings on your phone bill. (Of course, you may end up paying for data if you go over your limit, so don’t go crazy!)
Unfortunately, right now WhatsApp is only available for iPhone–there isn’t a version of the app for the iPad despite the fact that WhatsApp boss Will Cathcart (in January 2022) acknowledged in an interview that people had been asking for an iPad app for a long time. Cathcart revealed that much of the infrastructure to develop an iPad app is already in place, but he made no immediate promises.
Things could be about to change though. In September 2023 a WhatsApp beta (version 184.108.40.206) seems to include an iPad-compatible beta version!
WhatsApp beta for iPad is available on TestFlight and can be installed on the iPad if you are part of WhatsApp beta testing program. If you want to install the WhatsApp for iPad beta read this.
If you aren’t part of the WhatsApp beta, don’t despair. In this tutorial, we show you how to use WhatsApp on the iPad using WhatsApp Web. This service connects to the WhatsApp account on your iPhone (or Android device) and forwards the messages on to your iPad, allowing you to send and receive messages, pictures and videos. It’s not quite native WhatsApp on the iPad, but it’s the next best thing.
WhatsApp for iPad release date
While right now there is no WhatsApp app on the iPad, but it does look like there is one coming soon. As of September 2023, WhatsApp beta testers can try out a WhatsApp for iPad beta.
Over the years there have been many indications that WhatsApp would eventually come to iPad, including Will Cathcart’s revelation above that people have been asking for one, but this beta looks like the most promising evidence yet.
Back in August 2021 there were reports that the team at Meta/Facebook-owned WhatsApp was working on a WhatsApp for iPad app. That news came via WABetaInfo, the Twitter (now X) feed for Whatsapp beta news:
Use your iPhone to scan the QR code and pair with your iPhone.
A web page should now load and display all your recent WhatsApp messages, along with any media or voice notes.
Be aware that there are a few limitations when using WhatsApp this way. Most importantly, unlike when the service is used on a Mac or PC, notifications from web browsers aren’t supported on iOS/iPadOS. You won’t be notified of new messages.
Apart from that and a few small bugs, however, the service is pretty easy to use and a great alternative for WhatsApp users keen to access the service on iPad.
WhatsApp Web is a free and easy way to access the WhatsApp service on your iPad. Although you won’t get notifications (as you would when using the service on Mac or PC), it’s a great way to easily access your messages on a tablet.
Lewis Painter is a Senior Staff Writer at Tech Advisor. Our resident Apple expert, Lewis covers everything from iPhone to AirPods, plus a range of smartphones, tablets, laptops and gaming hardware. You'll also find him on the Tech Advisor YouTube channel.