Episode 2.5 “WhatsApp”, the good, the bad and the features to add
Welcome back to ProdActivity! The show where we analyse and review software products/apps/websites and what activities can be done to make them better. So, this episode is going to be short, as we are analysing one of the apps that is super minimalist in it’s design and does only one thing — and that is messaging. Without further ado, lets get started with Season 2, episode 5:
“WhatsApp” — the good, the bad and the features to add!
To be honest, when I look at #WhatsApp, there is not much I do not like. You have to have a phone number to register at first. That way you do not have to use your email or whatsoever, keeping it easy, clutter free and accessible to anyone. You see, WhatsApp is an app with very little data and memory usage and because it uses your sim-number anyone of any age from any country, regardless of their smartphones price and specs can use it to communicate. This supported not only ordinary people in the developing countries, but a lot of businesses, such as small tour companies, use the service as a main communication channel with their clients from all over the world, relying on it’s speed, simplicity and costlessness.
After registration, you have your simple page. The user can import new contacts with a single click or add new contact manually or just search within existing phone contacts and add the ones who pop up with their account. This is super useful, however sometimes it does not work. You need to have the other person’s contact saved with a country code; else it may not recognise the existence of it. I guess it is done because there may be same numbers in two different countries. Still, would be good to fix it, so it is recognised by the sim provider country or other method. Additionally, if the person is near you, you can use QR scanner to add the person. Seems useful, not sure how many people have used it.
Once you are on, the first tab on the main page shows your main chats with couple more buttons. Such as creating a new chat or a new group chat. You can also invite new contacts to the app if they do not have WhatsApp. It is beneficial for the app and the company, as it creates the network effect required for growth. One bad thing here is that if your contact has change their number, the chat between you two is not just transferred, but new chat is created and you have two chats. Makes things too confusing if you are searching for something. On the second tab we have Status, which is similar to stories of Instagram, Facebook and now Twitter. It is cool feature, but has very nice category of active users and these are the users who do not have any other social media channels, such as my mom, and use WhatsApp to connect to close friends and family. Besides that, not much used by other users. Final tab is the calls tab. You are presented with the history of your calls, and you can see each calls detail by clicking on them. You can recall the last call with a single button as well. You can also start a call or a groups call. The interesting additional option here is ability to start a Facebook messenger rooms call. As you may know WhatsApp is owned by Facebook and it is interesting to see the link between two seemingly competing services, even though they belong to the same company. I believe it is done because of the limitations of the WhatsApp groups, differently from rooms. Finally on the top of all tabs we have search button, which allows you to find contacts or messages in the chats, and three dots menu. This allows to create new group, open WhatsApp web, which we will touch later, show saved messaged and access settings and profile.
So lets get into chat and see what is there. On top we have name and avatar of the user we are talking to. When clicked on their name we can see share media with them, details of theirs, we can arrange encryption, block, mute, edit, etc. We have two buttons for audio and video calls. We have a menu button on top to search within the chat, to see shared files links and docs, we can export chat and save it offline, create the shortcut on our screens for easier access and a non-functional feature of adding new wallpaper. In the chat section we have chats. When chats are sent, we see one tick, when delivered to ticks and when read we see two blue ticks. This is very useful, but the privacy is also considered. You can turn off the blue tick option if you want to and then neither you or other party can see blue ticks of each other. The bad thing is that if you do this, it applies to all of your chats instead of specific one. If you have favourite text, you can star it and save to check later, like a bookmark. Super useful tool I just started using. You can also send voice messages in WhatsApp, my favourite feature of all times. It is as quick as a text message, but also as convenient as a phone call. To record, you either press and hold the mic button or lock it for longer messages. Similarly, to the blue ticks, when the other party listens to your message, the button on the time bar of the message turns blue. Interestingly enough, even if you turned off your blue ticks, the voice message shows if the other party has listened to you or not. Besides text and voice messages, you can add attachments and images. Overall it is all you need, except to two things. You can not edit texts, and you cannot download pictures you have sent, even if it does not show it in your gallery, which is either a bug or a bad thought UX.
Coming to WhatsApp Web, a desktop version of WhatsApp, the comments will be even less. I like it and I use it a lot. To access it you need to scan QR code via your phone and keep your mobile whatsapp on, meaning phone cannot die. This I find a bit inconvenient and I wish it would work even if your phone is dead. Maybe this depends on your sim reachability, not sure about technical aspecsts. Overall WhatsAppa Web is a watered down version of the app and does the core things well. Besides these, as I said there is not much to discuss on WhatsApp app, I use it everyday and use it a lot, as my family and significant people in my life are in different countries, sometimes with bad connection and without WhatsApp it may have been difficult. Of course you can find many blogs criticising the security or lack of fun features of WhatsApp. These can be endless, therefore my review based purely on my personal usage and experience.
Today we tried to capture the analysis of WhatsApp with all its simplicity and I really hope you enjoyed it! Thanks a lot for listening and as always remember to check Medium channel for the written and visual version and check Teespring link in the description for apparel by GetGuided. Thanks for listening, stay safe, talk to you later.
That is pretty much it, first things that came to my mind.
Today we tried to capture the analysis of WhatsApp platform and I hope you enjoyed it! Thanks a lot for listening and as always remember to check Anchor channel for audio version and check Teespring link in the description for apparel by GetGuided. Thanks for listening, stay safe, talk to you later.