One of my friends recently recommended that I try out Whatsapp and being the curious person that I am, I agreed. At first, I didn’t really get the point of it as I didn’t want to open a different application every time I wanted to text someone.
But considering the fortune that my carrier charges me for every text, I decided to give it a go, with great hesitation. I should probably tell you this: it was completely worth it.
So What’s This New Thingabamob?
“WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS.”
Yep, that is the official definition they give us. Don’t worry about the network you use or the platform you work with. All you and your mates require is to own a smartphone with an internet connection.
Whatsapp is one of the widely used app in the market and hey, did I mention it is free? It’s a simple two click download from the Windows Phone marketplace.
Getting Started and First Run
When I ran the app for the first time, it asked me for my phone number and my country, for verification purposes. It took a couple of seconds I guess. After this comes the fun part.
You have to type in your name for your contacts to identify you. But guess what? You can include smilies along with your name. It’s pretty cute, I admit. You can also set the status of your Whatsapp account. Yeah, smilies are included here as well.
Once the initial set up is over, you’ll see your app load with all the default settings. In one of the windows, you’ll find all your “favorite contacts”. These are the people who already run Whatsapp in their smartphones.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a whole lot of my friends were using it on a daily basis and I truly felt like a total noob for missing out for so long. Huh.. Anyways, do understand that those are the only people with whom you can exchange texts using Whatsapp.
One thing I love the most about the app is the user interface. When you load the app, you’ll see a very hipsterish wallpaper in the back which looks very, well, hipsterish and cool.
Let’s take a look inside the app now. The color of the app was red when I loaded it. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that the color of the app changes to the theme we have set to our Windows phone. I changed it to Mango and the app changed to the Mango too! Yay!
The UI of the chat is exactly the same as your Windows phone. You wouldn’t find much of a difference when you text someone. But one thing I found very useful was that when the text is being sent, you’ll notice a small idle clock right in front of the message. When it has been successfully delivered, you’ll see a small tick. And when the person on the other end sees it, you’ll see another tick mark added to the first.
Messaging With WhatsApp
You cannot send texts to people who are not in your favourites list though the list refreshes itself every time you load your app. If you want to do it manually, tap on favourites on your Settings tab which refreshes your list.
So, I tried tapping on one of the contacts on the All tab. This tab contains all the contacts in your smartphone. The app lets you to share the contact to one of your people in the favourites but there is nothing much else you can do.
You can create groups inside the application though it works more like a conference. Once you add the people to the group, the participants gets an invitation and once they accept, you’ll find a window with all the added people to it.
It is a fun way to group text that you don’t have on your phone. If someone irritates you, you can ignore that contact from your app which is a dream come true for me.
Media Sharing and Assorted Functionality
Did I bring up the fact that you can also send pictures, video and audio to your chums? No, well… You can! All the attachment options are found at the bottom of the chat tab. Tap away to send them and a whole lot of junk that you wish.
You can add all the images from any albums in your smartphone. But you can’t add videos which were shot earlier with the video recording app. You have to record the video instantly from WhatsApp to send over to someone. Needless to say, this is a major turn off.
A Few Caveats
When someone sends over a text or an audio note to you, you’ll get a notification at your home screen at the top. If you don’t notice it at that time, you don’t have a way of finding out what it is without loading up the entire app.
As an avid texter, I can’t believe that I have not tried this app for so long. You get to send your messages, audio, video and images for absolutely no cost? This app goes to the top of my recommended list!
Thank you so much for reading and let us know what you think in the comments below.