Cost: $US0.99-$US1.99 | Developer:WhatsApp Inc. | Platform: iPhone/ Android/ Blackberry/ Nokia Symbian| Version 2.6.4 | 6.5 MB | iOS 3.1+, Android OS 2.1+, BlackBerry OS 4.5+, Nokia S60 3rd edition, 5th edition or Symbian^3 OS
International calls and text rates are a rort. But the human need for communication has no bounds and it’s always hard to refrain from talking to loved ones when they’re overseas.
My sister is currently in Hong Kong and my best friend is in Europe. I have been talking and texting them with reckless abandon and it hasn’t cost me a cent. That’s because I’ve been using WhatsApp.
The software is a cross-platform mobile messaging app. Users can send texts, pictures, videos and audio notes to anybody with WhatsApp. The messages avoids the mobile voice network and uses an Internet connection – Wi-Fi or just through a mobile data network – for communication.
Most people with smartphones now have taken mobile phone plans with their telcos that include a data cap, typically 1GB. WhatsApp will have an impact the data cap but not significantly.
Texts only several take up several KBs with short audio notes and pictures can go up to several hundred KBs. But considering I have used WhatsApp non-stop for several days – texting, picture messaging and audio noting - and have only used up 4.2MB download plus upload in total, that’s not bad at all.
I would recommend using WhatsApp on a fixed-line Wi-Fi network on, say, on a home broadband plan, as they tend to have a more generous data limit.
The cross-platform aspect of it is definitely one of the most appealing aspects of the app. My best friend uses a BlackBerry and I never thought I would find an app that we would both find useful. I can also stop bugging her to convert to an iPhone.
If you want to connect with friends and family abroad, or even locally, without busting your phone bill, you’ll find WhatsApp a godsend.
Pros: Great for talking to loved ones and friends overseas, cross-platform capability is very convenient, supports multiple media including text, pictures and audio
Cons: May not be great for people with very low data limits on their phone plans though this can be solved by using WhatsApps on a Wi-Fi connection through a fixed broadband line.
Verdict: It's awesome. Get it.
Get it here: www.whatsapp.com
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