Whatsapp has released a new desktop client for windows and Mac. The client works much like the Web Client, in that it simply allows mirroring of content from your phone. That means one still has to install Whatsapp on a phone. This only helps allow replying of messages on the fly while working on the desktop.
Whatsapp’s content transfer from the phone to the client uses a significant amount of data, if the content is media rich. As such, it is encouraged that the phone be connected to a wifi network to avoid extra data charges for limited data plans.
The Whatsapp desktop client is available to download from the Whatsapp website. For the PC, the app is supported on Windows 8 and later. On Mac, OSX 10.9 and beyond is supported. It weighs in at over 60MB for the Windows version, which is quite a large file.
The desktop client feels like a wrap up of Whatsapp web on Chrome that has been packaged for windows. The client connects as a web client, and as such you cannot use it at the same time with Whatsapp web on another computer. It even shows up on the phone app as a connection from Google Chrome, and not from whatsapp desktop.
Using a native desktop client means there is a better integration with the operating system. This means one can receive system notifications, if enabled. Also performance is better compared to the Web version for some reason.
This native whatsapp desktop client can only be used in conjunction with whatsapp installed on a phone. This rules out the possibility of using it as a way to access whatsapp without a PC. For those purposes, one still has to rely on emulators for Android like bluestacks. And emulators have a heavy tax on performance.