Whatsapp on Mac!

[NOTE: I’ve written an updated guide here: http://autumnfloods.com/2013/02/09/run-whatsapp-on-mac-and-pc-updated-version/

I’m keeping this outdated guide here as reference for those who might still be using the older version of Bluestacks]

I discovered something really really cool today! I finally found a way to Whatsapp on my Mac!

For those who are unfamiliar with Whatsapp, it’s an mobile application that allows you to send messages to your friends, using either a 3G or wifi connection. It’s like SMS, but better!

I don’t really like to send messages on my phone. In fact, I dislike typing on a touchscreen. Sometimes, I find myself in difficult situations where I have access to my laptop (e.g. meetings, lectures), but it’s really inconvenient/rude to take out your handphone to reply to an important message. Or sometimes, there are things on my computer that I want to send to someone’s phone. With the ability to Whatsapp on my Mac, it makes life a lot more easier.

The solution I found was to install this program known as, “Bluestacks.” They have a version for Mac as well as for Windows. (Go google!)

What Bluestacks does is that it’ll allow you to run Android apps on your computer (Whatsapp being one of them). *<update>: Bluestacks has removed Whatsapp from their later versions. But all is not lost! Here’s the instructions on how to install and use Whatsapp on Bluestacks!

Step 1: The first thing you’ll notice about Bluestacks is that there is no web browser in there. So what you’ll need to do will be to go to the Whatsapp website (http://whatsapp.com/android/ – or Google it in case the site changes in the future). Then copy that address and paste it as a post in Twitter or Facebook.

Step 2: Use Twitter or Facebook within Bluestacks to access your post. This will allow you to click on the link to open the web browser within Bluestacks. (In my case, I used Twitter to do it)

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Step 3: Now that you’re at the Whatsapp download page (make sure it’s the download page for Android!), click on the link that says, “Download Now.”

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Step 4: Wait for the download to be complete. To see the progress of your download, click the black bar at the top of the window (the one with the time below the words, “Bluestacks App Player”) and drag it downwards (while clicking). 

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Step 5: Once the download is complete, double-click the file to launch the App Installer. Click on the button that says “Install” and follow whatever instructions you may be asked to follow.

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Step 6: Congratulations! Whatsapp has been installed! All you’ve got to do now is to configure Whatsapp!

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Step 7: The only problem is this – Whatsapp only allows one verified device with that phone number to access their servers at any point in time. Once you have verified Whatsapp on your computer, you can’t use it on your phone. And if you want to use it on your phone, you will have to reverify your account on your phone – which means you can’t use it on your computer. And, from the stuff I’ve been reading online, if you do this too often, your account will be disabled (probably for security reasons).

Therefore, if you want this to go smoothly, you’ll need two phone numbers. You can use your house phone number to set up as your Whatsapp number. (Whatsapp will send you the 3-digit verification code through a phone call via in international number) UPDATE: Whatsapp now bans residential numbers. Unfortunately, you’ll need to use another mobile number.

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Step 8: Now, don’t panic when you see Whatsapp trying to send/receive a verification SMS on your computer. It won’t happen. What you have to do is to wait for more than 10 minutes, and the program will show you a button to get the verification code through a phone call. Click on that, and you’ll soon get an international call with a computer-generated voice telling you your code (and repeating it infinitely in case you missed it the first (n-1)th time.)

Enter the code, and you’re done! </end of update>*

Here’s how it looks on my computer! It’s just a sample conversation between my computer and my handphone.

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Oh, I’m so gonna enjoy using this! *<update>: I’ve been using this for quite some time, and I must say – being able to use Whatsapp on a computer has been really convenient, especially when you’re doing work!

I realised Whatsapp makes use of the Jabber protocol, and I’ve been testing out how to use Whatsapp via an instant messaging client or better yet, via iMessage! So far, it has proven futile. The biggest difficulty has been trying to figure out what the password is. From what I gather off some discussions on the Internet, the password is a hash based on your telephone number and your handphone’s IMEI/UDID number. They say that it’s a reverse MD5 hash, I’ve tried that but to no avail. I’m not sure what went wrong. I’d be happy if you can offer any new leads or clues. If you’re interested, you may wish to read this forum post. There’s a lively discussion of the technical details. People seemed to have got it working, but I wasn’t able to.</end of update>*

*<more updates>: Some of you have asked me how to Add Contacts. If you intend to synchronise the contacts from your Google contacts, you can google: “how to synchronise google contacts on android” (or something like that). I don’t do this because my contacts are on iCloud and I find it a hassle to maintain the same contact list on Google contacts. So, here’s how to manually add contacts to Whatsapp on Bluestacks:

Step 1: Make sure you’re at the chat screen of Whatsapp (as shown in the picture below). Next, click on the second button from the left (the one with lots of horizontal lines, next to the button with a left-pointed arrow). For the sake of convenience, let’s call this button the “More options button.”

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Step 2: This will bring up a menu with more options at the bottom of the Bluestacks screen. Click on the button that says: ‘Contacts’

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Step 3: You’ll see a list of all contacts in Bluestacks (as shown in the picture below). Once again, click the “more options button” (i.e. the second button from the left).

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Step 4: This will bring up a menu with more options. Now, click on the button that says, “New Contact.”

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Step 5: Fill in the necessary contact details, especially the name and phone number. One important point to note – please ensure that you fill in the country and area code for the phone number, e.g. +6512345678 (Singapore example), +14158765432 (US example). Chances are, if you don’t, you won’t be able to contact the person whom you wish to contact.

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If you need to edit a contact, from the main screen (that displays all your chats), click on the “more options button,” and click on contacts. Then, click and hold on the contact that you wish to edit. This will bring up a menu showing you even more options. Click on edit contacts, and you’re ready to edit! <end of more updates>*