Appview: WhatsApp

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There are plenty of IM services out there and many apps which aim to give quick free Instant Messaging service to the masses. Whilst there are many successful and popular ones out there; Fring, Skype, Palringo and even Gtalk to name a few, all of these have one niggling factor which makes it hard to convince someone who’s not quite into IM services to use it. Getting them to install and then add you to their contacts list. This is where WhatsApp clearly stands out from the crowd.

WhatsApp

When WhatsApp is installed, it integrates into the phonebook of the user, checks all the contact numbers and matches them with anyone on that list which is using the service. This gets rid of the whole add me on [insert any service here] and “what’s your username” and their annoyances.

When I first installed it, I was given a list of all my friends who were using this service and promptly started messaging them to let them know I was using it. Which ensued in a flurry of responses and ridicule, mainly because I’m usually the one trying to convince THEM to use a service. Here they were, already ahead of the game. What was the most interesting bit; they were all using different handsets, iPhones (mostly) but also Blackberries. And yes WhatsApp is available on iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Symbian. The app itself can be downloaded from the Android Marketplace or the Appstore of your own mobile platform.

Get WhatsApp Messenger and say goodbye to SMS!
WhatsApp Messenger is a smartphone messenger available for Android, Blackberry, iPhone, and Nokia phones. WhatsApp uses your 3G or WiFi (when available) to message with friends and family. Switch from SMS to WhatsApp to send and receive messages, pictures, audio notes, and video messages. First year FREE! ($1.99/year after)

  • Once you and your friends download the application, you can use it to chat as much as you want. Send a million messages a day to your friends for free! WhatsApp uses your Internet connection: 3G/EDGE or Wi-Fi when available.
  • Send Video, Images, and Voice notes to your friends and contacts.
  • Enjoy group conversations with your contacts.
  • Just like there is no added cost to send an international email, there is no cost to send WhatsApp messages internationally. Chat with your friends all over the world as long as they have WhatsApp Messenger installed and avoid those pesky international SMS costs.
  • Why even bother having to remember yet another PIN or username? WhatsApp works with your phone number, just like SMS would, and integrates flawlessly with your existing phone address book.
  • No more confusion about getting logged off from another computer or device. With push notifications WhatsApp is ALWAYS ON and ALWAYS CONNECTED.
  • Your Address Book is used to automatically connect you with your contacts. Your contacts who already have WhatsApp Messenger will be automatically displayed under Favorites, similar to a buddy list. (You can of course always edit Favorites any way you like)
  • Even if you miss your push notifications or turn off your phone, WhatsApp will save your messages offline until you retrieve them during the next application use.
  • Share location, Exchange contacts, Custom wallpaper, Custom notification sounds, Landscape mode, Precise message time stamps, Email chat history, Broadcast messages and MMS to many contacts at once and much much more.

WhatsApp lets users send text, pictures, location, contacts audio and video instantly. It’s all very simple. It also has the ability to make a normal call from within the app, in case you might want to speak to them directly. So far this is one of the easiest IM apps I have used. Install, setup and use was quick and simple. The UI is also pretty slick.

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