WhatsApp is an incredibly common way to message your friends, and it seems like the kind of app you’d want everywhere—not just on your phone. But there’s no WhatsApp app for the iPad. Is all hope lost?
Well, sort of. We looked into a few ways to access WhatsApp on the iPad, but but the solutions on offer are so awful they’re mostly not worth using. Here’s the situation.
The Problem With WhatsApp
WhatsApp is weird among messaging apps. Rather than use one account across multiple devices, WhatsApp is tied to a single phone determined by to your phone number. If you try to log in on another phone, your old one will get logged out.
Until recently, you could literally only use that one device to access WhatsApp. That is, until, WhatsApp launched WhatsApp Web.
With WhatsApp web, you can connect to your WhatsApp account through your browser, or a client for Windows and macOS. The smartphone your WhatsApp account is set up on still needs to be online because all messages are relayed through it, but it works really well.
How to Use WhatsApp Web on the iPad (and Why It Isn’t Very Good)
With that in mind, I thought, one could easily just use WhatsApp Web from your iPad’s web browser. Unfortunately, that comes with problems.
You can try and point your iPad to web.whatsapp.com, but you’ll get taken to a site that instructs you to install WhatsApp on your smartphone or access the web app from your computer.
If you persist and force WhatsApp to load the desktop site, you’ll get what appears to be the web app.
Sadly, it’s awful to use. It’s just not designed to work with a touch screen. You need to double tap on things to select them, the scrolling is janky, and it’s just generally bad. If you had to send a message, you could, but it’s not a solution we could really recommend.
WhatsApp iPad Apps Are Just Plain Bad
I took to the App Store as well, to see if there were any third-party apps that would do the trick. With a quick search, I found plenty of apps that claimed to make WhatsApp accessible on an iPad. Most were free, so I started with them.
One was filled with ads and bad tutorials; it would only let me access WhatsApp Messenger if I paid a $1.99 unlock fee. Another was just filled with obnoxious ads and crashed after a few seconds. A third wouldn’t even open.
Obviously these free apps were out of the running. Next, I tried Messenger for WhatsApp Pro, a $1.99 purchase. This app…worked. Or at least, it worked in the sense that it bundled the web app in an iOS wrapper and made it accessible on my iPad. The problem is, that the web app is awful on the iPad, as we already discussed…and paying $1.99 seems a little silly for something I could get for free.
Once again, you could technically use the app, but the experience was so unpleasant that we can’t recommend it.
So where does that leave things? Right now, WhatsApp really isn’t usable on the iPad. You can access it with a workaround, but it’s terrible. We can’t in good faith recommend any way to do it well. If the situation changes in the future, we’ll update this guide.