what is whatsapp?

20 Feb


update 24.2.14 looks like whatsapp is going to add voice. now that would be a killer app. 

update 23.2.14 i have been puzzled about smart phones, because there are so many different brands. they are all v expensive, that is the one thing they all have in common. anyway i read today in this article that mozilla is introducing a cheap smartphone for $25 for the developing countries. in that article it says ‘feature’ phones are used in developing countries as a cheaper alternative to smart phones. i have never heard of ‘feature’ phones. but this cheap smart phone might be one for me, if it comes to europe. I have noticed that these cheaper versions are not sold in europe, so that we have to go to a developing country to buy it. just  like i have to go to malaysia to buy the cheap nokia that i am using now. cannot find that cheap nokia here in london. 

added. 23.2.14 this link in quartz says zuckerberg of facebook is trying to make data cheaper. getting a cheap smart phone is half the story. getting data is expensive.  this link shows nokia asha 230 new smartphone for £37 . it also contains a video about the phone, but stay on and let it run and u can see them reporting on a lot of other gadgets in the show. 

update 22.2.14 when i read all this about messages, i thought will that make all the mobile phone companies obsolete? i dont think so. none of these apps take over from phone calls. and people will still like talking to each other instead of having to type the messages. txt messaging is a cumbersome way to communicate if u want immediate response. so for now the phone companies can still make money by selling call plans that will include free txt and broadband downloads. 

you could argue that there is skype and voip, (whatever that is, even though i know it stands for voice over IP) IP i presume stands of internet provider. but they are not easy to use or the sound is not clear and plagued by fades out and interference. this happened the last time i used it, but that was years ago, and maybe it has improved. Once that gets improved, it will be the end of phone companies as we know it.  mobile companies will not be able to make money and going bankrupt. when u can talk to people via skype and the internet using VOIP? and it is free via free wifi.

But G3 or G4 will still be needed to transmit the mobile signals, and so i predict that facebook may well buy a mobile company that has a G3 or G4 license. (Added. i think this one wont be necessary. with the spread of wifi available for free everywhere, it should be easy to get onto the internet without a mobile connection, at least in cities.) 

I have been getting emails  from them relaying some users sending me text messages and it has been happening for some time. i dont know how they got my email address. i have always thought they were a mobile phone service, but it seems people can send messages to computers too. As usual, i dont read the messages and  just blocked the message. But now i read that facebook had bought them for $19billion. well that certainly will make everyone sit up and take notice. it did me. Well, next time i get a message from them, i shall take more notice and read it. 

added. i had another look at the messages sent to my email and realise it is not from whatsapp. it is a scam email. so i was right to just block and delete them without opening it. i suppose i would be opening them if i had whatsapp on my mobile. not the first time i am glad i dont subscribe or use these apps or whatever, (paypal is another that i get lots of scam messages from but i have never used paypal so i know not to open them). 

What is whatsapp exactly? one of the links to the article about the purchase by facebook gave a link to their blog. it says it is a app that allows people to send txt messages to each other without having to pay for it. and u just pay $1 a year for the app. no wonder people get it. haha. it says they never send any messages themselves , have no advertising, and is purely a medium to relay other peoples messages. I wonder if it works the other way, that i can send messages via it from my laptop to mobile phones. AT the moment, i can send emails and those people who have mobile phones on broadband can access their emails. but i cannot send my messge directly to their mobiles as a text message. 

I have a feeling i am not the target customer. i use my mobile only for when I am going to a place to meet people. otherwise i switch it off. i got a simcard pay-as-you-go, and the cost for txt is as much as a voice call, so it is really much easier to just call someone if I am late or they are late.

Added. this link shows that whatsapp could be used in non-smart phones too. but the phone must be able to access the internet which i thought is what smart phone means. so what are these non smart phones that can access the internet? i guess i shall have to wait maybe 5 or so years later when everyone is on it by then. 

5 Responses to “what is whatsapp?”

  1. Lottie Nevin Thursday February 20, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    I’ve got several friends that use it but I’ve not bothered to download it yet. To be honest I hardly use my phone these days. If I need to speak to the kids or friends, I either skype or Facetime. I text a lot more when I’m back in London so maybe I’ll use it when back there for visits 😀

    • alifesgayventure Thursday February 20, 2014 at 10:32 am #

      it seems to me that to access whatsapp, your phone need to be a smart phone, able to access the internet. and for that you have to pay a subscription to some kind of broadband service from the mobile phone provider so it is not exactly free…why not just get a tablet and use that , you can get free wifi and so no need to subscribe to a monthly tariff… and if u are on the internet you can get free messages via email so what is the popularity with whatsapp? emails can be sent to your smartphone or tablet by the email people…so why use whatsapp? perhaps it is very easy to use. and since if u have a mobile smartphone u will already have paid for a monthly tariff plan, i guess it is easier to use whatsapp than via email. my phone is still an old fashioned thing, only makes calls and txt. nothing else. but it means i dont have to pay a monthly tariff to get online. also like u said with skype, and facetime( a new one on me) why would anyone bother to use a mobile phone anymore? just goes to show how out of touch i am.

      • Lottie Nevin Thursday February 20, 2014 at 10:48 am #

        You are not out of touch! Technology changes every five seconds so it’s hard to keep up with it. I don’t have any tarif on my phone because i got fed up with feeding it for pay as you go and i don’t want to sign up for a contract here when as you say, i can call for free from my laptop or use the phone with our house wifi to facetime the kids (Facetime is on iphones) 😀

  2. sarahinguangzhou Friday February 21, 2014 at 7:59 am #

    Yeah I’m still resisting the whatsapp. Most of these apps seem to just encourage sad people who lead their whole life online to hassle new ‘friends’.
    My phone contract gives me 5000 free texts a month. When I asked the salesman who could possible need that many texts in a month I got told (somewhat patronizingly) ‘a younger person’.

    • alifesgayventure Friday February 21, 2014 at 8:32 am #

      lol. such a lot of free txts. if u send them all, you will help drum up more business for the phone company because people will have to reply to your text and they might not be on a plan, and have to pay. clever marketting ploy , isn’t it?

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