Thursday, 3 April 2014

What's Up With Whatsapp?

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The rise of mobile phone ownership and the necessity to communicate has brought about the increase of applications coded for message handling. It is no longer enough that mobiles can make calls, but also to take advantage with the existing internet infrastructure to communicate freely. Truly, these apps and software coders are bringing the cost of communicating down in most cases, but can be a source of shocking bills in some cases. Before you get the later, read on!

Whatsapp is one of these apps taking the spotlight as one of the best messaging services for mobiles. It is an alternative for sending SMS, photos, videos and voice messages (not voice calls). The difference is it does not use the usual 2G cellular network to do this, but through 3G, 4G or over wifi. Here's the list of the highlight features, what you can do and tips in using the application.

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Very Easy To Use.


This app is no brainer to use. Once installed, it gets hold of mobile numbers in your phone directory and compares this list to its data base. Once one of your contact is located in it's database, it updates your account of a new contact. 

This means you can not add manually any contact you want to add. They need to install  the application to be your whatsapp contact. Although this is a multiflatform for any mobile operating system, the supported form factor is limited to mobile devices. You can not use this application using a desktop device yet, and do need a mobile phone number that doubles as your user identity. 

Send SMS and Multimedia for Free


If you communicate mostly by text, then using this application could be virtually free. Although you have to pay for the application a tiny amount after a year. The cost is negligible compared to a cellular network's (2G) subscription to send text messages. 

The application can save you more when you use it with contacts worldwide.

Sending of multimedia can also be free. This depends on how much data allowance you are subscribed to. If you are sending and receiving much of this, then remember that you will be using the internet provided by your network when you're out and about. Multimedias, specially videos are huge files and if you ran out of data, excess allowance is expensive. You need to have at least 1GB or even better with unlimited. 

Remember that it can cost you more money when you go beyond your data limits, so home and free wi-fi's are recommended as connection when using or receiving this kinds of messages.

Always on


The application  is always on. This means it is playing in the background and could be using your data allowance whilst it is updating your location, your status, and your contacts. Though the updates could just incur small data allowance, the temptation to hear and answer voice messages or see video messages can use large data. 

Can I Make A Voice Call?


Unfortunately you can not make a voice call, but you can make a voice message instead. A voice message is a recording of sound you can send through whatsapp instead of typing a message. The communication when using voice message is not instantaneous as a voice call, but need to wait until the recipient goes online and hear the message and has the option to answer it or not.

The voice call button when you open up a contact's details is actually the shortcut to your phone directory and has nothing to do with what's up. When you tap(1) a contact from there, whatsapp will transfer the call to your network cellular signal and you will be charged accordingly. The second button(2) is the whatsapp messaging icon.



Could It Be A Permanent Substitute To Cellular Network?


As a substitute to messaging service to contacts with whatsapp installed on their devices, yes. But like any other internet messaging applications, this can not work on it's own. You need to have an internet connection to use it and and also requires a cellular network number to operate. 


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