Product – WhatsApp
Price – FREE for First Year – 69p per year after
I love WhatsApp, it’s probably the phone app I use above all others, I must use it most of my waking hours, and best of all, it’s free for the first year, and then 69p / $0.99 per year after! If you don’t know what WhatsApp is, it’s an chat app available for pretty much every phone platform going, from the oldest Nokia Symbian phones, to shiny new iOS / Android handsets.
The beauty of WhatsApp is you can have the same ‘chat’ experience, no matter what phone handset you have, you can exchange messages, photos, video, audio, your location and even contacts. You can also create group conversations with multiple participants, great for organising events and general banter.
When you’ve installed WhatsApp it will use your phone address book to built your contacts list, and you can start chatting to anyone in your addressbook who has it installed. The best thing about it, because the messages use your phone data connection, even if you’re somewhere without a signal, you can still communicate over WiFi. I love being able to fire off messages using the Virgin WiFi on the Tube in London 🙂 It doesn’t matter where in the world you are, it won’t cost you a penny to send / receive messages (so long as you’ve got WiFi / Mobile Data)
When you send messages it also gives you a little heads up as to the status of the message (a bit like old school SMS Read Receipt), the clock symbol means it’s waiting to be transferred to the WhatsApp server, one tick means it’s been received by the WhatsApp server, and two ticks means it’s been delivered to the recipient’s phone (delivered not READ).
There is definetely room for improvement, perhaps it could follow the lead of messaging app ‘Line’ and add ‘Free’ Voicecalls to contacts, or security like a lock screen to get into it? Whilst it’s not perfect, it really is a great and easy to use – it’s helped me keep in touch with so many people in 2013. That’s why it’s on my Top Ten of Awesome in 2013!
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