You cannot live without Whats App in today’s world. Its the first app that I install on any device that I’m using, and unfortunately for Windows Phone it has been a slightly sticky point. The problem was that Whats App used the streaming APIs to keep the app alive and waiting for push messages, and that method made it unreliable at times. Moreover, it meant that you could never use the play/pause/next shortcuts that pop up when the volume button is pressed, as Whats App had taken those over. All that ends now.
A huge Whats App for Windows Phone update is live in the Windows Phone Store, and it promises to change things for the better. While the app might still look similar, the entire internal mechanism has changed.
- Whats App now has its own background agent, leaving the streaming API free. This should mean greater reliability, and better push notifications.
- Tapping on the Whats App icon that you’ve pinned to the homescreen opens up the last screen that you were in before leaving the app. This makes jumping in and out of Whats App much more convenient.
- Tapping the toast notification opens up the chat corresponding to that message.
- The app is faster overall, and much quicker to resume.
- You can now call people from within the chat, although it does take a couple of clicks while Windows Phone prompts you to confirm.
- The app also tells you that you won’t receive push notifications while the battery saver mode is on. This is because Windows Phone restricts background activity during that time to preserve battery.
- Sending and receiving contacts works well.
- You can send video after recording it from within the app, but you still cannot send existing files.
- Whats App gets proper Emoji. The style/layout is identical to what you’d see on iOS and Android.
- Finally, if someone sends you a location it opens up the default Windows Phone maps app. You can’t choose to goto into Nokia Maps yet, but if you’d like to get driving directions, Nokia Drive opens up to guide you. This is a pretty big deal. I frequently ask people to Whats App me their location, and then use GPS to get there. Earlier, you couldn’t even view the location in a proper maps app, forget about navigating there.
Go grab the update here. Notice any other changes, let us know!