WhatsApp is doing something not so cool, but maybe a bit understandable in its latest beta version 2.16.86. When you start WhatsApp Web, you'll get a new notification telling you that the web client is currently active.

The notification seems semi-permanent. You can't manually dismiss it, but it disappears when you don't use the web client for a while, only to re-appear when you switch back to that tab in your browser. I kind of understand the rationale behind it: safety and privacy. Maybe you forgot WhatsApp Web running on a computer that you're not using or maybe you've stepped away from your computer, but someone else has opened your tab and started checking your conversations. Previously, you had no idea that was happening. Now you can simply tap the notification to end any browser session and disconnect it.

The problem though is the notification. It's there and it's staying. It'll make you think you have unread messages when you don't because of the WhatsApp icon in your notification bar. It'll unnecessarily occupy a slot in your notification drop-down. And it'll make your Android Wear watch vibrate each time it shows up. Gah.

Right now, there's no way to disable it without disabling all WhatsApp notifications, which, for a messaging app, is not in the cards. If WhatsApp could at least give us a setting to disable the notification if we don't care about any of those privacy concerns or we know we're the only ones with access to our Web session, that'd be great. As it stands, this is much more of an annoyance than a feature.

  • Thanks:
  • Ibrahim Al-Alali,
  • Ruud Caris,
  • Samarth,
  • Masis,
  • Carsten Knobloch