25 Nov 12
The days of WhatsApp are gone, let’s start a new era!
WhatsApp was always a really great, simple and easy to use messenger, at least for me.
Even if WhatsApp was always easy to use, i was never that happy about its design and lack of an open API or at least clients for Tablet/Mac/PC/Web…
One of the most important things a messenger should have:
- – Clean design (i don’t like to use an ugly app all day)
- – Good up-time (no-one likes undelivered messages)
- – Some smileys
- – The option to send files/photos/..
- – Many friends who use the same app
- – An info if your messages are read
If it comes to user-numbers (at least in the European countries) no messenger can beat WhatsApp. Yeah perhaps the Facebook messenger, but this one will eat your battery!
- – Many active users
- – Lots of different smileys
- – Most messages are sent (i think they have an uptime of about 90%)
- – You can send files / photos
- – Info if messages are Sent/Recived/Read
- – Online-status of the specific user (Drains the battery a little bit more -> more network calls are done)
- – Group chats
- – Single messages can be very long (I’m not sure how long)
- – No clients for your Mac/PC/Tablet or Web
- – Awful design (I don’t understand why such a big app with so many users isn’t updated frequently. They could earn so much money if they did…)
- – Not secure (I’m no expert but read a few new-article of the past few weeks)
- – It will perhaps get a paid service for Android! (My current account is activated til the second of January i think!)
So i looked and searched for a few alternatives. And yeah, there are so many that i won’t able to test all of them, but at least a few. After some testing i came to the decision that only a single app caught my attention. It features a simple design, Mac/PC clients, and high reliability. LINE. All other messengers had their problems. To mention a few of these problems: Poor Battery life, no read info, no smileys, difficult sing-up procedures, no Mac/PC/Web clients, poor reliability, …
So what are my thoughts after a week with LINE?
- – Simple and clean design (it kills the one of WhatsApp with ease)
- – High reliability (I didn’t notice any problems with sending my messages)
- – It’s possible to send files
- – It’s possible to send smileys (they have a few), and also offer „stickers“ (extended smileys)
- – Info if messages are read
- – Clients for Mac/PC (No client for web, but the Mac/PC clients are great!)
- – It’s really battery friendly!
- – You can auto-sync your contacts and as soon as one of your contacts sings up, you’ll have this person in your contact list!
- – Group chats
- – You can turn of alerts for specific contacts
- – Free calls!
- – It’s free! No sign of hidden costs, you need a data-plan for it, but that’s the same for WhatsApp! (i had no fees, even the activation SMS was free (other operators may charge a bit here))
- – At least here in Europe there are less users right now
- – You can’t use a tablet or phone at the same time with the same account (If you activate your LINE account on a different phone it will remove the account from the first phone)
- – The smileys aren’t as cool as WhatsApp’s
- – Just a message-read information. No info about the users online-status
- – No information if a message is sent or recived.
- – A single message is limited to 500 chars
The information about a WhatsApp abo was there for a while now. It was hidden in one of their preference-screens, but it was there for a long time.
For now my account was always extended so i never had to pay a single cent. But why should someone pay (if they will ever require a payment) for an application, which isn’t updated that frequently, doesn’t have really great functions (yeah the basics and they work)? I was always in the hopes that WhatsApp will update their app so it has a chance in the jungle of messengers.
LINE is a really great messenger for Android, Windows Phone, iOS, Mac, PC, … and they update their apps all the time! They add new functions, they keep their service up and clean! I just hope that LINE will add Tablet support, and a few more smileys, soon. Perhaps a public API wouldn’t be that wrong too, but just time will show how things change!
Kick WhatsApp and try LINE.
Tell your friends they shall try it too, and perhaps WhatsApp will soon have to change something about their situation! They loose customers who used their service for years.
Is there still some hope for WhatsApp?
They have still the biggest user-base (after Facebook) and are able to stop their fall if they consider some small / big changes:
- – Introduce an open API or at least create a Mac and PC or Web client
- – Update your apps. Google has a really great guide about how an Android App should look like! The iOS app is ok, but it looks boring and has absolutely nothing special
- – Be fair and don’t sue people who try to help (Someone found a security hole and they sued him. why?!)
- – Listen to users feedback
Perhaps they see that something need to be changed. Many people will pay a ONE-TIME-FEE (not an abo!) for a premium app. If they do it right, i’m sure they are able to keep up their business.
I would also pay a little bit, (ONCE) for a Mac client.
Here are the ideas of a designer how WhatsApp could/should look like (The designs where made during the #ADiD (Android Design in Action) campaign):