WhatsApp is a free chat messenger for communication with phone numbers linked to the app. The app is available on the mobile, both Android and iOS, as a web version for the browser, or as a desktop app for the computer. WhatsApp can be downloaded from the Apple store or Play store. It is a chat-based application that also has features for video or audio calling through the web.
What are the key features of WhatsApp?
Remember the pre-WhatsApp era, when communication on chat-based applications was mainly done through computers, and texting at a cost was the only way to communicate if one doesn’t want to call. Whatsapp revolutionized communication of the world by bringing chat to the mobile phones, linked to the mobile number, instead of an email id. Whatsapp is a messenger that allows people to connect with anyone who has the application on their smartphone.
WhatsApp allows users to chat, create groups, broadcast to custom lists, make audio and video calls through the internet, share stories, share media (pictures, video, audio), send voice messages, forward messages, use emoticons (and gifs) and more. With WhatsApp web and desktop, users can now sync across devices and always be connected. End-to-End encryption allows for safe and reliable communication. One can share location, contacts, and use Live Location for directions.
What is WhatsApp compatible with?Whatsapp is available for free across devices. It is compatible with Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows PC. The application is primarily a mobile application, with a web version now available for browsers. There is also a WhatsApp application for the desktop.
What are the alternatives to WhatsApp?
There are a number of alternatives to WhatsApp, and one can compare them by features. Facebook Messenger offers a chat-based communication application, linked to Facebook. Interestingly, WhatsApp is also owned by Facebook, but the difference is that while Messenger users the Facebook login details to sign in, WhatsApp connects via the address book on the phone. Messenger is linked heavily to the main Facebook app, with reactions on stories going directly through Messenger. The ease of use in WhatsApp is much higher though, and the ability to connect with anyone whom you’re not connected to via Facebook (or to do not wish to be), is a big plus for WhatsApp.
Another messaging or communication application is iMessage, which allows free messaging via text from an Apple iOS to another. However, iMessage is limited due to its connectivity only with iOS users and does not have the number of features that WhatsApp offers. Viber, Signal, WeChat, Telegram, Skype are all communication applications but do not have the reach or the flexibility of WhatsApp, so they are limited in their communication via free messaging or calls. Zoom, while great for calling, is still cumbersome for chats and other features that WhatsApp offers freely and easily.
What is WhatsApp Web?
The web version and the desktop application are extensions of the mobile application and mirrors the chats from the mobile app once synced. WhatsApp web syncs with the mobile application to show real-time messages on both devices. It does not work independently of WhatsApp on the smartphone and requires the phone to be charged and connected to show real-time messaging. People use WhatsApp desktop or web to share files from the computer system, write longer and bigger messages because of the ease of the keyboard, or to use only a single device to access WhatsApp while working on the desktop or laptop.
What goes in favor of WhatsApp?
With free communication, whether through chat or calls, WhatsApp has completely widened the spectrum and narrowed global distances, and it is now so easy to be in touch with family and friends from across the world. It is extremely intuitive to use, easy to connect to, and seamless to use on several devices. The accessibility through the mobile number ensures there is no hassle of signing in, adding contacts, and remembering usernames and passwords.
Contacts with the WhatsApp applications get automatically added to your WhatsApp contact list. Audio and Video calls, that are connected through the internet, allow for free communication with people across the world, something that was unheard of just a decade back. WhatsApp has the reach and coverage to be the go-to communication app, which gives it an edge over its competitors.
It is easy to share media, forward messages, record, and send voice messages. Group chats are also a big advantage, so are broadcast lists, that can be used to send messages for businesses, personal promotions, or greetings easily.
What goes against WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is heavily reliant on the internet speeds, and in places that do not have high internet speeds and stable connections, messaging and calls can be interrupted. Unlike newer video conferencing apps like Zoom, Whatsapp does not allow more than 4 persons to be on a call at a time. Spamming and unreliable forwards is also something WhatsApp faces criticism for.
In terms of connectivity, anyone with your number can connect with you on Whatsapp, unless you block them from it. It gives people access to you, without you having given permission. WhatsApp web and desktop are dependent on the mobile application, and if the phone is not connected or charged, you cannot use the extensions on other devices either. Multiple notifications from WhatsApp have at times resulted in the app getting hung and even disrupting functionality in phones.
What’s the verdict on WhatsApp?
WhatsApp has made communication extremely easy, for and with people across the globe. Chat individually or in groups, WhatsApp allows people to stay connected at all times. Spreading important info is vital in these times, and through free video and audio calls, new usages on the personal and professional front can be noticed. Sharing a live location lets anyone feel safe under tricky situations, and sharing pictures and videos makes it easy to stay in touch despite distances. WhatsApp has single-handedly revolutionized the way we communicate. The app has to be doing something right if it has gone from being a proper noun to a verb.