Posts Tagged

whatsapp

Just as there are too many ways to listen to music these days, I think there are too many ways to get in touch with people. Between email, texting, and phone calls, I’m already swamped. Or, at least, I feel swamped, even if I’m not busy answering a myriad of emails and messages. Social networks don’t make it any easier; actually, they add to the problem. I need another way to keep in touch with people about as badly as I need to be shot in the foot with a double-barrelled shotgun.

Enter BBM, or Blackberry Messenger. Another one of the ill-fated company’s “too little, too late” strategies that makes sure Blackberry is still firmly planted in 2007, BBM for iPhone is almost exactly what it says on the label. I went to school in Waterloo and have a number of great friends there, some of who were working at the company when it was still called RIM, so I mean no insult. In fact, I want the company to succeed — a little competition is always a good thing. But the question remains: is BBM relevant in today’s world? Is it better to show up late to a party than to never show up at all? Read on to see my thoughts.

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VoIP clients (Voice over Internet Protocol) have been all the buzz really since Skype made its debut in 2003. When developers realized the potential behind mobile platforms and VoIP there was a race to see who could get the best quality services out there. Skype introduced its iPhone version in 2009, and while there have been other apps like Nimbuzz that offer ‘package’ IM services, Skype had the most success on the iPhone.

Then came applications like WhatsApp that offered free texting – BBM style. This was hugely popular because it was cross-platform free texting, simply using (a very small amount of) your phone Internet. Further, instead of using a separate account that you have to set up like Skype does, it relied purely on your phone number, and synced with everyone in your phonebook, so anyone who had the app could contact you without having to add them again.

Well what would happen if you combined the glory of free calling that Skype offers and the free texting and use of your mobile number that Whatsapp brings – the answer is Viber.

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There’s certainly no shortage of social networking-related applications for the iPhone. Some are great, and some are fairly dire; it’s a hard concept to execute well on a mobile device. A few days ago, a fellow iPhone touting friend introduced me to WhatsApp. The concept is essentially free iPhone-to-iPhone messaging, and sharing of links, photos, maps and audio.

I’ve been using WhatsApp for a few days, and felt that it merited a review on the site. It’s simple, clever to set up, and works reliably between all the devices and friends I tried it with. A version is also available for Blackberry, so you can interact with a slightly wider circle of friends.

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