WhatsApp didn’t have a true desktop version until recently – both the Windows and Mac apps simply loaded the web version in an Electron shell. That changed last year when Windows got a native version and the native version for macOS went into first beta. It was originally a closed beta available only for TestFlight participants. Now anyone with a Mac can install WhatsApp for macOS.
WhatsApp for Macs currently works on macOS Big Sur and can be downloaded from the official website (source link). However, one is immediately warned that this version is still in an early stage of development. Interestingly, the WhatsApp team used Apple’s Mac Catalyst framework. Catalyst makes it easy for developers to create apps that run on both iPadOS and macOS. So far, however, there is no WhatsApp version for the Apple iPad. Instead, the only option here is still to use the web version. Perhaps that will change once the macOS app exits beta status.
As with the Windows version, the native Mac app should run faster and more efficiently. So we won’t shed a tear for the old Electron version.