The best thing about WhatsApp in its early days was making chatting with your friends easier and it was way cheaper than SMS. In addition, thanks to its cross platform availability, it was practically on every platform: Nokia, iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Phone) and hence it gained quite an audience which is now over 1 billion active users.
However, there was need for people to use the service on desktop since a lot of people out there use their PCs daily. That is why they introduced WhatsApp for Web, which was only available in the browser and could only work by tethering it to your phone by scanning a unique QR code. That implementation seemed rushed and we still hoped for a proper desktop client and that is what the company announced earlier today.
You only need to download the client on whatsapp.com/download, a 61MB download which after instaling prompts you to connect to your phone using a QR code, just like on WhatsApp for Web. To sync your WhatsApp on phone with the desktop client, you open your mobile app, look for WhatsApp web in the settings, scan the QR code and you are good to go.
It still needs a constant connection to your phone, which is a bummer, but you will have support for native desktop notifications and other niceties like keyboard shortcuts. It is basically WhatsApp web in a client and not as intuitive as Telegram’s implementation since the latter uses the cloud to sync all of your devices. However, it is still a step in the right direction for the company and we hope they would have moved to the cloud sooner than later.