WhatsApp’s beta Apple Silicon Mac app is now available for public download via its website. The company has been beta testing its native Mac app through TestFlight for the past few months.
The new app provides a significantly better user experience than the existing app for the messaging service. And since it’s a native app, it works much better too.
Native WhatsApp Mac app with Apple silicon support gets a wider beta release
While the Meta-owned messaging service has been testing Apple’s silicon support for its Mac app for a few months, the TestFlight beta program has been full for a while. So new users couldn’t try the native app even if they wanted to.
WhatsApp is now making its Catalyst app available for download directly from its website. Unlike the Electron-based version, the Apple silicon-optimized app looks and behaves like a native Mac app, with a dedicated sidebar for switching between chats, calls, archived conversations, starred messages and the Settings menu. It should also use fewer resources than its Electron sibling.
Unlike the stable Electron WhatsApp version, the Apple silicon app has a yellow logo to signal its beta status.
WhatsApp’s current Mac app is slow and buggy
WhatsApp’s existing Mac app is based on Electron and runs on Apple silicon-based Macs through Rosetta 2. Because of this, it delivers a subpar experience with long load times. The app also takes a while to load large conversations.
You can download WhatsApp native Apple silicon app from its website. The app continues to be in beta, so expect to run into some bugs and crashes.
Given WhatsApp’s popularity, it was a shame to see Mac users have to deal with an app that wasn’t as good. Fortunately, the wider public release of WhatsApp’s Catalyst app, even in beta, is changing that.