There is a sort of completeness to Windows Phone 7 now. We have got almost all major apps on the metro OS, and huge improvement in features is around the corner (with Mango almost upon us). It always feels like a boost to the platform when a famous app makes its way to it. The latest king-of-its-genre app to come to the Marketplace is WhatsApp, the very popular cross-platform instant messaging app favored by millions of users all over the world.
For now, the app is pretty simplistic, although its developers have promised to stick with WP7 and keep making useful additions to it. The interface of WhatsApp isn’t very different than that of the stock messaging app.
For getting started, you need to provide your phone number (along with your country code) to the app. A text containing a confirmation code will be sent to the given number. Enter that code in the app and you’re good to go. Make note that WhatsApp works for just about any country in the world. The app has all the usual features familiar to WhatsApp on other platforms. Delivery status, typing indications and attaching media/ location are some of the staple features of the app.
You can make use of push notifications too to get the most out of WhatsApp. Simply go to the app’s settings menu and toggle on this feature. You will also need to select a name that will be displayed to your contacts and on your notifications. Of course, you can also add favorites to keep in touch with your most used contacts. All your conversations are visible in the chats screen.
Arguably, there are better messenger apps available in the Marketplace, but none with more users than WhatsApp if you take all platforms into consideration (even Symbian has it!). A tiny setback is that the app is only available for Mango, and so most users might have to wait a few more days for it. If you are already on Mango though, here’s the download link.
Update: With the new version of WhatsApp for Windows Phone you can set a profile picture for your account, and the service now supports graphical emoticons as well. Another thing that users found annoying in the past were the continuous alerts for messages from groups, now you can simply silence Group threads thanks to the mute option in the app. Even with all the enhancements, however, WhatsApp has stuck to its basic policy of keeping the interface as close as possible to the stock Messaging app in WP7.