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Applications

Facebook unveils WhatsApp apps for Mac, Windows desktops

Jettisoning need for a Web browser, new app promises a more streamlined process for chatting with friends and family.

WhatsApp is one of the most popular chat apps for smartphones in use today. But to use it on a desktop, you had to run a Web app through your browser.

Now the Facebook-owned app is streamlining the process with the launch of a desktop app that syncs with your mobile device. WhatsApp said the new desktop app, which was released Tuesday, mirrors your mobile device, allowing you to message friends and family while your phone is in your pocket.

And because it runs natively on your desktop as opposed to through an app on your browser, the app allows for native notifications and better keyboard shortcuts, WhatsApp said.

After downloading the app for either desktops running Windows 8 and above or Mac OS 10.9 and above, open the app and scan the QR code with your phone to sync the devices.