WhatsApp Messenger App Review

A billion people worldwide use this communications app

As of 2018, WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging app in the world, connecting more than a billion people. These users share instant messages and multimedia files for free, and more interestingly, can talk for free without limits. The app works on nearly all smartphone models, is available for computers, and works on Wi-Fi3G, and 4G networks. 

What We Like

  • Free phone and video calls to any WhatsApp user
  • No need to register (app uses your phone number as an identifier)
  • Free SMS and MMS to other WhatsApp users
  • Group text messaging
  • Compatibility with most smartphones
  • Free video chatting

What We Don't Like

  • Calls are free only with other WhatsApp users
  • Messages encrypted only when all users involved in an exchange use versions that support encryption

Installation

WhatsApp installs without hassle on your smartphone, with an installation file of 6.4 MB. The installation process is more or less the same across all the smartphone models the app supports.

Once installed, the app presents a greeting screen, asking you to continue. Then, you enter your mobile phone number, which is the handle through which the service identifies you. This saves you from having to log in each time with a username and password, and from even registering for the first time. You receive an access code through SMS that you enter as proof that you are the rightful owner and user of the phone number you entered.

Free, But With a Catch

The app automatically identifies contacts in your contact list who are already WhatsApp users. That's because these are the only ones with whom you can communicate via SMS and voice for free; the app can’t send free messages or make free calls to non-WhatsApp users. By sorting them out from the get-go, the app prevents you from accidentally trying to use it to contact non-WhatsApp users. Of course, the upshot is that, if you use the app, you should encourage your buddies to download and use it, too.

Voice and Video, Too

WhatsApp entered the voice arena a bit late, but it has since dethroned Skype and other VoIP apps to become the most popular worldwide. It also does a good job with the call quality. In 2018, the company added group video and chat to the mobile app's list of capabilities. The desktop versions do not support calls of either kind.

Where It Can Save You Money

Text messaging consumes very little bandwidth, unless you frequently swap large image and video files. Using a Wi-Fi connection gets you everything free, but if you need real mobility, then you'll need a 3G or 4G data plan.

WhatsApp costs absolutely nothing. At one time, users paid $1 per year, but use of the app is now completely free and unlimited.

Other Features

WhatsApp offers a long list of additional capabilities. A few include:

Using WhatsApp, you also can:

  • Communicate with groups via chats and video calls
  • Email an entire chat conversation to contacts
  • Send photos and videos taken with your smartphone directly as MMS
  • Send images and PDFs
  • Share location information and maps