This morning there was a bit of a false alarm as a private beta link for WhatsApp made its way around the 'nets. The app is clearly close to being released and for all intents and purposes, is done.

Someone managed to rip the XAP from the private Marketplace (you can rip free apps using a number of Windows programs) and we went ahead and sideloaded it to see what all the fuss was about. So quick take:

  • For Mango only (fully integrates with your Contacts DB)
  • Very fast, smooth UI with fast app resume
  • Push Notifications
  • Minimalist almost sparse UI
  • Very few features or bells and whistles
  • You can message, share location and send images
  • No landscape support (at least in this version, perhaps this will change upon final release)
  • Green checks seem to indicate sent/received status--not as rich as Kik's system though

The app in our opinion is exactly like Kik Messenger but a little more boring. It feels like they rushed it through a bit, which would not be surprising. However, it is fast and smooth, meaning a lot of folks will like its "to the point" design. We just hope it gets landscape support on release as that'd be pretty nasty for messaging on our Focus. Check out the video to see it in action.