For many people it is super important to stay in contact with friends and family, and when having your phone in your pocket or on your desk simply isn’t enough, you can access messaging service WhatsApp on your computer.

Until today, if you wanted to sync your phone with WhatsApp, you had to access it through a browser, but the company has no released a desktop app to make things a bit easier.

“Like WhatsApp Web, our desktop app is simply an extension of your phone: the app mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device,” the company said in a blog post.

The new desktop app is being made available for Windows 8 (and up) and Mac OS 10.9 (and up), and syncs with WhatsApp on your mobile phone. It also detailed that because the app runs natively on your desktop, you will also get desktop notifications whenever a new message comes in. It also adds the functionality of keyboard shortcuts.

WhatsApp explained how to get it:

“To download the app, visit https://www.whatsapp.com/download from your desktop browser. Then, open the app and scan the QR code using the WhatsApp app on your phone (look for WhatsApp Web menu under Settings),” it said.

By having the desktop app instead of the service running in a browser, it does make things a lot easier and less distracting. The issue with web-based services has always been that you had to keep a separate tab open in the browser, but the app eliminates the need for that. It is very similar to when you receive a Facebook notification while logged into the social media site: a small bannner will pop up in the corner of your screen, notifying you that a message is incoming. Super handy if you ask us.

And keyboard short cuts? Who doesn’t like those?

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.