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How can I run Whatsapp (or similar) on a PC (Win XP) without a smartphone, Google account or Chrome?

I have got an ordinary phone and could use it for verification purposes (e.g. if necessary I could receive a single SMS on it with a code and then type that in on the laptop on a single occasion), but it is not a smartphone and it cannot have Whatsapp (or similar) installed on it.

I realise I could install an Android emulator, but is this the only way? And if so, how would I actually use Whatsapp (or similar), given that I would not be able to sync it with an installation on a phone?

I do not wish to install Chrome or open a Google account.

Thanks in advance for any help with this!

Edit

Although ideally I'd like to use Whatsapp, I'm also open to suggestions using other messenger progs - so long as I can use them on my PC to communicate with other people using their smartphones.

  • Good question, but its unfortunately off topic for this site. It is not within out scope on how to use software, but rather what software to use. Besides that, you might have some trouble doing what you wish as whatsapp is a mobile texting application. The only way I see this working is with an emulator. You would be able to use whatsapp on an emulator because it acts like any ordinary android device (minus the phone capabilities) with internet and that's all whatsapp requires. – aman207 Mar 16 '15 at 21:01
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    @aman207 - Thanks for this, but I think I must have caused some misunderstanding, because I did mean to ask what software to use, e.g. if I use an emulator what software do I use then? what emulator would allow me to avoid having a Google account? and what software might I use instead of an emulator? It is not as simple as you suggest in your last sentence, because there are ways of going about running Whatsapp on a PC that require you to have it on a smartphone too and sync between the two. Whatsapp themselves aren't very helpful in telling people how to do what I'm trying to do. – h34 Mar 16 '15 at 22:23
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    I've heard WhatsApp can also be used via browser (a feature recently added). Not being a friend of this kind of privacy-unfriendly stuff, I've of course not tried it myself. Problem with "other solutions" (and there are plenty) is: if your friends use WhatsApp only, that's the only way to chat with each other – unless you can convince them to switch to your new app. – Izzy Mar 17 '15 at 7:32
  • This question could be on topic on the android.SE, but I'm not sure. Please ask in their chat / meta. – Angelo Fuchs Mar 18 '15 at 8:46
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    I've rolled back the edit which removed the references to a Google account and Chrome (these were an important part of the question), which changed my British English "have got" to the US English "have" (surely my native BrE is acceptable here?), which restricted the word "apps" to applications that can run on a smartphone (some applications can run on a phone which is not a smartphone - e.g. the chess application on my non-smartphone), which added "no-registration" (I specifically said I was happy with registering), and which added "cross-platform" (I'm specifically asking about WinXP). – h34 Mar 19 '15 at 15:18
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KakaoTalk

Since in the edit you mentioned you're open to suggestions other than Whatsapp, then try using Kakaotalk. It matches your requirements in the following:

  • Has PC and mobile versions (Windows, OS X, Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia)
  • Does not require registration, only a phone number
  • Is not associated with Chrome or any Google service
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I've not tried it myself, but it's certainly possible to use Android on a computer and install Whatsapp there, all this without requiring a Gmail account or a smartphone at all. Not the easiest of procedures but I would present it as an alternative. Note also that using Whatsapp on a non-phone device is not supported at all by the developers, and it might even be forbideen by its license (haven't read it really, but they're very opposite of using computers at all).

First off, you need a virtual machine software. I can recommend VirtualBox for this, it's at least capable of running Android in it. Make sure that, when configuring the VM, assign a fixed MAC address, because Whatsapp validates this.

Then, download Android x86 (the port of the real Android system for PCs) and install the iso inside the virtual machine. Make sure you have internet access in the VM.

You will need to download Whatsapp itself to the Android VM. You can use its official website dirctly without using Google Play (which forces to use a GMail account). Find the direct link to the Whatsapp installer there and type that address into the Android web browser so that the apk is downloaded into the VM (at the time of writing this the link is http://www.whatsapp.com/android/current/WhatsApp.apk). After downloading, just run the installer and Whatsapp will be running in your computer.

When first running it, it will ask for your phone number, where you need to use a phone capable of receiving SMSs. An activation code will be sent there and you'll need to write it into Whatsapp. Your contacts will then send messages to that number.

  • I don't know that much about WhatsApp, but I know it uses the protocol from OpenWhisper systems, and they use the Google infrastructure to send messages for their app Signal. You probably won't be able to get that running unless WhatsApp uses a different infrastructure. support.whispersystems.org/hc/en-us/articles/… – YetAnotherRandomUser Apr 9 '16 at 1:38

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