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WhatsApp exec says the company would 'love' to make an iPad app, forgetting the only roadblock is WhatsApp itself

Whatsapp Group Message on iPhone X
Whatsapp Group Message on iPhone X (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz/iMore)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp head Will Cathcart says that the company would "love" to make an iPad app.
  • Historically, WhatsApp's service wasn't set up for multi-device usage.
  • Recent changes to WhatsApp infrastructure means an iPad app is now closer to reality than ever.

WhatsApp head Will Cathcart says his company would love to make an app for iPad but stopped short of saying that it actually would.

The lack of a WhatsApp app on iPad continues to be a big bone of contention for its users and we've been told before that one could come eventually. Now, in an interview with The Verge, Cathcart has confirmed that the company would "love to do it," apparently completely missing the point that the only people stopping that from happening is the WhatsApp management team.

While WhatsApp has historically not been built in such a way to make message syncing work between devices, work to change that has been underway for some time.

"We did a lot of work on the technology for supporting multiple devices," Cathcart said, referencing the rollout of opt-in, multi-device support for WhatsApp last year. "Our web and our desktop apps now have that. If I have multi-device on, I can turn my phone off or lose my network connection and still get messages on my desktop. That would be really important for a tablet app, to be able to use the app even if your phone isn't on. So the underlying technology is there."

With the excuses beginning to run dry, maybe now is the time that WhatsApp gave the people what they want — a version of the hugely popular messaging app that works natively on the tablet that so much of the world uses. WhatsApp is already one of the best iPhone apps at handling cross-platform messages. How long will it be before it's one of the best iPad apps, too?

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.