WhatsApp UWP App for Windows OS actively developed: Facebook graduates messaging app from Silverlight without using Electron Framework?

WhatsApp UWP App Microsoft Store Facebook Silverlight Electron Framework
WhatsApp UWP App on Microsoft Store for download on Windows 10/11Pic credit: Christoph Scholz/Flickr

WhatsApp app for Windows OS has never offered a reliable, smooth, or native experience. Facebook is addressing the same by actively testing a WhatsApp UWP (Universal Windows Platform) app for the instant messaging service.

Facebook (now Meta) seems to be actively developing a “Modern” app for WhatsApp that will work on Windows 10 and Windows 11. There are a few screenshots of the “Native App” on social media, and they reveal how WhatsApp will function on Microsoft’s OS.

Current WhatsApp for Windows 10 and Windows 11 moves away from Silverlight, and adopts the UWP base:

The Microsoft App Store has been a welcoming repository. The store welcomes multiple types and categories of apps, including PWA (Progressive Web Apps), .NET, Xamarin, Electron, React Native, Java, and UWP (Universal Windows Platform) apps.

Incidentally, WhatsApp had an app in the previous Windows Store as well. However, Facebook was building and maintaining the app on Microsoft Silverlight.

Needless to mention, this limited the potential of the WhatsApp app, especially on the newer Windows 11 Operating System. Presumably understanding the same, Facebook has now moved beyond Silverlight and adopted UWP (Universal Windows Platform).

As the new app is based on UWP, it should work equally well across all the Operating Systems that Microsoft is currently supporting. Interestingly, Facebook is committed to the Windows platform even though WhatsApp is majorly a mobile-first or even mobile-only instant messaging platform.

WhatsApp UWP should support backup, native notifications, options to customize chat, and more. Facebook would obviously offer the app via the new Microsoft Store which is now also available on Windows 10.

What should users expect from the WhatsApp UWP app for Windows 11/10?

Currently, there are two ways to access WhatsApp on a Windows PC. Users can download the official WhatsApp for Windows OS or visit Web.WhatsApp.com.

Incidentally, even the dedicated WhatsApp for Windows OS, available in the Microsoft Store, is largely based on the web version of WhatsApp. It relies on the older Electron Framework.

Simply put, the prevalent iteration connects to WhatsApp and provides users access to the WhatsApp web interface, and users need to authenticate the connection by scanning a QR code.

The new UWP-based WhatsApp could offer Windows desktop access to WhatsApp chats without connecting to the web version. Also, this is reportedly a full-fledged UWP client.

In other words, the UWP WhatsApp does not depend on web components. This means the new WhatsApp desktop client won’t be a mere web wrapper.

It appears Meta/Facebook is using the XAML UI language to match the look and feel of Windows 11 or 10 apps. The leaked screenshots suggest the new UWP WhatsApp would show chats in the chat list, similar to the WhatsApp web.

Being a native app, WhatsApp could offer better and seamless support for both voice and video calls. Windows PC users would obviously need a webcam and a mic to support these functions.

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