WhatsApp boasts over two billion users, making it the most popular messaging app on Earth
The Apple Watch, meanwhile, has outsold every other smartwatch on the market and occupies the wrists of millions worldwide.
So why is it that these two platforms just can’t seem to get along?
Two reasons. For starters, WhatsApp is notoriously slow at developing new features and expansions. We’ve been waiting for an iPad version for years, after all.
Secondly, Apple has its own rival messaging app, iMessage, which operates across all its devices. And it would probably rather Apple Watch users stuck to that.
Currently, you can view WhatsApp Messages as part of the Apple Watch’s ability to mirror notifications from the iPhone. But you’re not able to reply (beyond a few pre-defined options) or compose new messages yet.
Thankfully, there is a way thanks to a third-party app that’s just arrived on the scene.
The WristChat app
An independent app called WristChat is one of the best ways to unlock proper WhatsApp functionality on your Apple Watch.
In the UK, it costs £2.49 and can be downloaded directly onto the smartwatch from its dedicated App Store.
Created by indie iOS developer Adam Foot, the app works in a similar way to WhatsApp on the desktop.
You’ll need to scan the QR code that appears on the watch with the WhatsApp app on your phone to link your account.
You can use the scribble function, voice dictation or keyboard on the Apple Watch to respond to messages from your wrist. However, you’ll need to keep in mind that the Apple Watch will need to be connected to your iPhone for this to work.
According to Foot, the WristChat app has a user interface that retains the WhatsApp look and design and you also get read receipts and group chats.
There are also a few extra features that WhatsApp doesn’t have, like showing or hiding your profile picture, customisable bubble colours and the ability to hide messages.
After you’ve set it up, the app will show a list of all your recent messages, similar to what you get in Apple’s Messages app.
Then, you can tap on a conversation to see the chat and start responding without having to pull your iPhone out of your pocket.
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