WhatsApp Messenger was one of the first apps I purchased when I got my iPhone. Given how my iPhone tariff doesn’t have as many text messages included as my previous one (500 as opposed to 1,000), I thought it would be a good idea to research ways to contact my friends and family without exceeding my SMS allowance. After digging around, looking at prices and reading reviews .WhatsApp Messenger seemed to be the best option. Costing just 59p in the UK App Store, WhatsApp Messenger is basically an IM program, but also works perfectly well in place of text messaging.
It connects via internet using your 3G/WiFi connection to send and receive messages. However, it still gives out an alert when you’ve received a new message, even if you’ve closed down the app. So in that respect, it works almost identically to the standard text messaging app on the iPhone. All you do is search your contacts for other people using the app, connect to one another, and that’s it. Send messages to your contacts a couple of times a week, or dozens a day, it won’t cost you a penny. Integrated within the app is the option to ‘Tell a Friend,’ either by e-mail or SMS. The more of your contacts that use the app, the better value that 59p becomes.
Similar to programs such as Windows Live Messenger, you can set a status. Pre-sets include ‘Hey there! I am using WhatsApp.’ You can also choose to set the app to let your contacts know when you’re busy, working, sleeping, and so on. Your status will appear next to your name in your friends’ contact list. The app even utilises Facebook Connect so you can post your WhatsApp Messenger status to the social networking site. That way, you can let people know when they shouldn’t disturb you.
The favourites tab is a great way to make it even easier to get in touch with people you chat with regularly. Add as many or as few people as you like, and see who’s available at a glance. Then, a couple of taps later, and you’re communicating!
The settings are numerous, with some being vital, and some being pointlessly fun. For example, it’s not really necessary to have a wallpaper sitting behind your conversation, but having one can help brighten up some really dull conversations! Select from your Camera Roll or Photo Library and have your celebrity crush, your dog, or whatever you choose gazing at you from the screen as you chat. Gimmicky, but a nice touch. There is also a Wallpaper Library available for your convenience, with more harmless flowers, scenery and the like.
An altogether more useful setting is the one which allows you to automatically save incoming media from messages to your Camera Roll. This is a great way to avoid the scenario of clearing down your chat history then realising you totally forgot to save the great photograph you were sent.
Your chat history with each contact is stored within the app and this is available to e-mail, which I’m positive will be a great asset to some people, particularly business contacts and similar. You can also clear down histories – useful for those with curious friends, family and partners!
Overall, there’s not much more that can be said about WhatsApp Messenger. It’s completely intuitive, does its job, does it well and is inexpensive. My only criticism is not enough of my contacts are using it!
|Title:||WhatsApp Messenger||Developer:||WhatsApp Inc.|
|Reviewed Ver:||2.4||Min OS Req:||3.0|
|Price:||$0.99||App Size:||4.5 MB|
This review of WhatsApps Messenger was brought to you by TouchMyApps Contributor Lucy Felthouse. You can find her on Twitter here
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