WhatsApp has been version for web and desktop for some time, but it is far from the only one. The famous messenger has strong competition from other apps when it comes to chatting on the computer. The alternatives have some advantages, such as dispensing with a mobile phone always connected, having SMS support or having more advanced and reliable encryption. If you are a regular user of WhatsApp on PC, it is worth checking and testing at least nine other options as good or better to chat with friends. Check out more about the apps in the list below.
WhatsApp Web or Android Messaging on PC? Know the differences
WhatsApp Web: all about the PC version of the messenger
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One of the main rivals of WhatsApp in Brazil, Telegram has web, Windows and macOS versions with advanced functions for sharing files and even making Internet calls. The program gains new functions with some regularity and, at least in terms of resources, is ahead of WhatsApp Web.
Telegram does not require a mobile phone always connected, allows you to change the theme to night mode, has space in the cloud to store personal files of up to 15 GB each and has a lock password. Other known attributes of the cell phone, such as self-destructive chat, forwarding messages with indication of the sender, among others, are also present.
Telegram for desktop – Photo: Disclosure / Telegram
Skype is known for its video calling features, but it is also an alternative only for exchanging messages. With a recently redesigned design, the Microsoft application tries to get closer to WhatsApp and other competitors by offering stickers, GIFs and other elements to enrich the conversation. The web, Windows and Mac apps allow you to share files, but with a lower limit than the 300 MB Telegram.
Its differential remains the offer of voice and video calls on the computer. Although these functions exist in WhatsApp for cell phones, there is still no release for the desktop version. According to Microsoft, by the end of July Skype users will even be able to record voice and video calls. The software’s weak point is the message delivery system, which is still inferior to rivals in the same category.
Skype for PC – Photo: Disclosure / Microsoft
Facebook Messenger accumulates a great diversity of functions that can attract the user who seeks an alternative to WhatApp. The app integrated with the social network also has a standalone version for browser and desktop with popular features like stickers, GIFs and even games to play with an online friend. In addition, a side panel helps you quickly locate all files shared with a contact in the conversation – a useful weapon against sending emails to yourself.
The disadvantage of the platform is that it is linked to the Facebook profile. It is not possible, for example, to disclose your username as a means of contact without risking random people adding you to Mark Zuckerberg’s network. In addition, there are some functionality limitations: sending files, for example, is restricted to 25 MB.
Facebook Messenger has a web and desktop version – Photo: Disclosure / Facebook
Signal became famous after former NSA employee Edward Snowden recommended it as a safe way to communicate in privacy. The app has strong encryption praised by experts and, since 2016, offers a desktop version for Windows, Mac and Linux. The program has message synchronization in the cloud, but loses to competitors in popularity. Although it is possible to use it as a standard SMS app on Android, only conversations between Signal users are protected and allow file sharing of up to 100 MB.
Signal for PC – Photo: Disclosure / Signal
Slack is an application that combines chat functions with collaborative work. Focused on business use, it works on the system of channels that, in practice, function as groups. Each team can create more than one channel to discuss different subjects. In a company, this division makes perfect sense if we take into account the usual separations between teams from different departments. The app supports one of the biggest limits for file sharing, up to 1 GB, just behind Telegram.
The weak point of the service is the charge for having all the resources. Free accounts have, for example, only 5 GB of space in the cloud, individual voice and video calls and search for a maximum of 10,000 old conversations.
Slack is more ideal for corporate environments – Photo: Aline Batista / dnetc
With a format similar to Slack, Discord gained fame in the gamer world, but soon expanded as a tool for group chat among forum members. Users can create groups within the same channel to have chats separated by themes. In addition, the program offers low latency and light operation to combine well with games broadcast in real time.
However, file sharing is limited to only 8 MB, unless the user upgrades to the Nitro version with monthly subscription.
Discord is geared towards gamers – Photo: Disclosure / Discord
A rival especially to Skype, Viber offers calling features for landline and mobile numbers, as well as Internet calls to other users of the app. Its main attributes are linked to these functions, such as the possibility of transferring a call from the PC to the cell phone with a click without signal drop. In addition, chat features include stickers and GIFs, self-destructive conversations and file sharing up to 200 MB each. The disadvantage of the service is its low popularity.
Viber has desktop version – Photo: Disclosure / Viber
The Android messaging app has been revamped, renamed Android Messaging and a new desktop version. The program now allows the user to chat via SMS on the computer when connecting the mobile phone in WhatsApp style, reading a QR code on the screen. In addition, the expectation is that the software will soon be compatible with the RCS, a system that allows you to use the telephone network to communicate with images, videos and files. Until the new technology opens in Brazil, it is not possible to share documents in conversations.
Android Message – Photo: Nicolly Vimercate / dnetc
IMessage continuously gains functions with each new version of iOS, and something similar holds true for the desktop version that runs on macOS. The most significant change that occurred in the service was the arrival of cloud synchronization via iCloud. This time, your messages are no longer “stuck” to the device, and can be retrieved and deleted in simpler ways from the company’s servers.
However, the platform is not yet suitable for those who need to share files. For this, Apple remains recommended to use other services, such as Mail or iCloud itself with a link via message. In addition, iMessage has limited availability as it can only be used on the iPhone, iPad and Mac.
iMessage works on the desktop for those with Mac – Photo: Disclosure / Apple