23rd Apr 2015
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Free talk and text with WhatsApp
Free talk and text with WhatsApp

WhatsApp Messenger is a free messaging app available for smartphones. The idea behind WhatsApp is to switch from your phone’s regular SMS in order to send and receive messages, including photo, video and ausio media messages for free. You can download the app and use it for free for one year, after which time it will cost 99 cents per year.

How does it work?

WhatsApp uses your phone’s internet connection or wifi to send a message and call friends and family (call feature available on Android and Blackberry only), and since it works like your email and web browser, there is no cost involved in using the app.

In addition to regular messaging, WhatsApp users can create groups, adding whichever contacts they want, and send to the group unlimited images, video and audio media messages.

Who can use it?

Anyone with an iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Nokia with access to the internet can download and use WhatsApp. And, yes, those phones can all message each other.

Provided you have internet access, have not exceeded the internet data allowance or set your phone to roaming, you will be able to use WhatsApp without extra costs. If you have a Nokia S40 or Nokia S60 device, it is strongly recommend that you have an unlimited data plan before using WhatsApp, since the app is a little data-hungry.

WhatsApp can be useful and cost-effective for staying in touch while overseas, provided you use the app over wifi only. Make sure to switch off roaming while travelling to avoid additional data charges.

How to set up and send a text on WhatsApp?

Step 1: Locate and download WhatsApp from your mobile app store and follow the prompts to set up your account. Ensure you click ‘allow’ to let the app to access your mobile contacts. This will save you from manually adding each person’s number.

If you discover that the app has only loaded half your phone contacts, go to ‘Settings’ on the bottom right corner of your screen, then go to ‘Profile’ and select ‘Use Your Facebook Info’. This will sync all your Facebook contacts into the app as well, prompting the app to add your remaining phone contacts.

Step 2: Type in your phone number and name or connect using your Facebook account. On the bottom of the screen there is a tool bar with your favourite contacts, your availability status, your entire contact list, your chat history and the app settings.

Step 3: To send a free message, tap the ‘Chats’ icon at the bottom of the screen. In the top right corner of the next page you’ll see a square with an image of a pencil. Tap it and then find and select the person you wish to message. Type in your message and hit send just in your phone’s regular messaging service.

Step 4: To speak to the person for free (on Android and Blackberry only), hit the Call button in the messaging box. And to leave a voice message, tap the microphone symbol to the right of the text box. The symbol of the arrow inside the circle to the left of the text box allows you to send videos and photos.

You can download WhatsApp here.

Have you used WhatsApp? Do you enjoy using it or is there a different messaging app you prefer?





    COMMENTS

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    pate
    30th Apr 2015
    10:44am
    no use to me we do not have mobile coverage.
    Sevi
    30th Apr 2015
    2:56pm
    Can you inform us when Samsung Galaxy 3 might be able to use it please?
    double j
    30th Apr 2015
    6:21pm
    We use a similar system but the receiver has to be in a wifi area, is this app the same ???
    Nick
    30th Apr 2015
    6:45pm
    Whatsapp is wonderful!

    The ability to take pictures or videos on your mobile phone and send them immediately (if have 3G or wifi access) is terrific for holidays and just social activities in normal life. I use it for a school parents group and several family groups. You can have 50 or more members in a group.

    It actually brings people together in a modern way. Although not a verbal conversation you can use it as effectively one and all the members of the group see the same comment and anyone can respond with their views.

    Also great for shopping for someone else. If I want to buy something for my kids just take a photo and check that is what they want. You have their response in a few seconds.

    The only problem with WhatsApp is if you are in many groups you may get too many messages and can be a nuisance going through to delete what you don't want.
    Overseas sending a message or photo home - it comes through instantly and no cost though you do need a SIM card for the country you are in. I don't know how WhatsApp makes money. There is no advertising and no third party sending me a message to try this or that.

    Try it out - it's the best App for social communication by far. (Mind you I have tried Twitter etc., only Facebook).
    ggrob
    30th Apr 2015
    11:38pm
    I use Viber to call and Message my daughter in New Zealand. However I am travelling to Europe and the Middle East next year and wonder if WhatsApp may be better. I have a Nokia Lumia 1320 which is a Windows phone. Could you advise me?
    Nick
    1st May 2015
    1:15am
    Hi ggrob. I have no idea about other phones. I have an iPhone and as the article indicates, can't use Whatsapp for phone calls. So for phone calls I also use Viber, my kids use Skype.

    But for messages and photos, videos etc., Whatsapp is ecellent. I and my family use it in Europe, UK, Middle East (Dubai mainly is my experience), Asia etc. Because it is using the internet rather than a phone line, so ling as you have a reasonable wifi (or 3G but uses a lot of Mb with photos and videos) it can be used anywhere. A big advantage, if it applies, is you can send the same message to multiple people you add to your group.
    Paul Schinider
    11th May 2015
    8:29pm
    I used now MeetingMogul - www.meetingmogulapp.com/meetingmogul/ which is a great app for conferencing calls & make it very easy to use it. UI is very smart & great features love to use it.


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