whatsapp

Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore took the Twitters this morning, which can only mean an announcement or an attempt to calm the throngs of Windows Phone users. Today, it’s the latter as he briefly addressed the ongoing WhatsApp issue with it being removed from the Store recently.

Although brief, Belfiore reassured users that Microsoft is working with WhatsApp to fix an apparently serious notification bug for Windows Phone 8 users with Update 3.

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WhatsApp, broken on Windows Phone 8.1 and with no immediate fix promised, has vanished from the Windows Phone Store. Searches for the app on devices running both Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 turn up "We couldn't find a match. Try a different spelling or search term." WhatsApp tells us that the removal was intentional, though it should only be temporary.

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It must be that internet access is slow, because Iran just got around to banning WhatsApp because parent company co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is Jewish. Kind of. After, you know, Facebook bought WhatsApp over two months ago. The ban comes courtesy of Abdolsamad Khorramabadi, Secretary of the Iranian Committee for Determining Criminal Web Content, which has the power to block access to sites and services deemed offensive in content, ownership, or… well, whatever, really.

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Normally, I’m a pretty big advocate of WhatsApp. After KIK unceremoniously abandoned Windows Phone in 2012, WhatsApp rose up to take its place. Sure, the app had issues on occasion, but the development team was busy pumping out updates so often it became a running joke (remember update Fridays?).

Lately, things are slipping. For instance, the public version of the app hasn’t had an update since January. That’s almost four months ago. Granted, WhasApp beta users have been receiving updates nearly every other day, but even that does not guarantee a steady or working app. New features have not been added in weeks, just occasionally moving around of elements resulting in a game of ‘what’s changed?’ each time a new version is released (changelogs don’t exist, evidently).

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At the Mobile World Congress earlier this year, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum announced that the popular instant messaging client would soon be adding voice services to its feature list. Now it looks like the voice calling functionality is coming pretty soon. Those who volunteer with Hindi language translation of WhatsApp received new translation requests this week.

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The now Facebook-owned messaging service, WhatsApp has unveiled a new SIM deal in Germany. This prepaid SIM provides consumers with unlimited access to WhatsApp on top of agreed data limits. It's a milestone since this is the first time the popular service has partnered with carriers to sell a SIM package. If you're a massive fan of WhatsApp and use it on a daily basis, you may wish to read on and keep your eyes open for a similar deal in your region, should one be made available.

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WhatsApp is a super popular messaging app, which has enjoyed substantial growth over the last handful of years. Recently sold to Facebook (for $19 billion), we added the Windows Phone client to our roundup of best messaging apps for the platform.

We know many of you actively use WhatsApp, but we've got some handy tips for you should you be getting started. 

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When Windows Phone first launched back in 2010 there weren’t too many messaging apps available. Over the years we’ve seen most major messaging platforms join the ecosystem. Today we have great services like WhatsApp, Skype, Kik, Facebook Messenger, Line, GroupMe and Telegram. Others, like BBM, are on the horizon and will join Windows Phone sooner than later.

We’re curious though as to which messaging platform you use the most. We also want to know which messaging platform you prefer. It’s completely possible to have a different app that you prefer over one that you use the most. The majority of your friends might be communicating through FB Messenger, but you’d prefer if they were on something else like WhatsApp or Telegram.

We’re going to look at seven major messaging platforms today. Skype, Telegram, GroupMe, WhatsApp, Kik, Facebook Messenger and Line are being given our full attention. They’re the apps we see the Windows Phone community coalescing around the most.

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Last week Facebook bought messaging app WhatsApp for a whopping $19 billion. That’s a huge win for the team at WhatsApp, but it’s also left a lot of loyal WhatsApps users feeling a little burned by the move. The fact that no major technology company controlled WhatsApp was appealing to some of its 400+ million users. Those wanting an experience similar to WhatsApp, but arguably better, have recently been flocking to Telegram.

Last Saturday when WhatsApp experienced downtime, Telegram picked up 4.9 million new users. It’s slowly been creeping up the most popular download lists on both Android and iOS, but the recent WhatsApp news have helped propel it even higher. We’re still waiting for an official Telegram app to hit Windows Phone. While we wait, let’s check out some unofficial apps available right now in the Windows Phone Store.

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Vector is Mobile Nations' cross-site, cross-platform analysis show where we discuss all the biggest stories in tech. On this week's episode Kevin Michaluk of Mobile Nations joins Rene to talk about Facebook’s $16 billion WhatsApp acquisition, not mistaking products for businesses, the value of user-base, the mobile hierarchy of needs, BBM’s missed opportunity, LINE, WeChat, Kik, and more.

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The news of Facebook acquiring WhatsApp for an enormous pile of money is front and center in the mobile communication industry today, and for good reason. Having watched WhatsApp grow from nothing into a cross platform winner over the last 5 years and doing a darn good job of executing on a growth plan, I'm impressed with what they've done. And while I was shocked to see the deal's valuation, I've taken some time to think about it rationally, and it might not be that insane.

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Facebook buys WhatsApp for $16 billion

Today it was announced that Facebook is buying WhatsApp for a whopping $16 billion. The SEC filing today reveals that WhatsApp will continue to operate as an independent entity under Facebook (much as Instagram did after their acquisition by Facebook), though the company claims that the deal will accelerate "Facebook's ability to bring connectivity and utility to the world." Facebook has long had their own messaging service in Facebook Messenger and it's not exactly clear how WhatsApp will complement that going forward.

Facebook is the world's largest social network with 1.23 billion users and growing, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that "WhatsApp is on the a path to connect 1 billion people. The service that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable."

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One of the great new features for Windows Phone 8 Update 3 is actually for developers: adding custom tones to their app. While Windows Phone customers have had the ability to add custom notifications to their devices for a little while now, being able to assign them to different apps was a little trickier.

Late last night, WhatsApp beta version 368 began rolling out to testers in the private program. On board under the Settings is a new section called ‘notification tones’.

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A handful of popular Windows Phone apps have received updates recently that appear to mainly deal with fixing bugs and improving performance.

First up is the addictive Empire building game from Disney Mobile, Star Wars: Tiny Death Star.  The game has you building an all-new Death Star and defeating the Rebel Alliance.  The update takes the game to version 1.0.1.7 and fixes the problem of stores not producing coins while the game is closed of minimized.

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While almost every other day, I post about the growing Windows Phone app ecosystem in India (and get jealous rants from folks here from Brazil), the growth is rubbing on the global players as well.

In its latest update, WhatsApp has added support for Hindi language. Hindi, along with English, is the official language of India. Globally, behind Mandarin, Spanish, and English, Hindi is the fourth most widely spoken language.

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WhatsApp has been receiving a suspiciously high number of app updates recently. It’s as if they’ve taken a few of Santa’s elves for to help pick up the pace. Last Saturday the app was updated with account migration settings. And just two days ago it was updated with more features. Here we are today with another update from the WhatsApp team. Let’s see what’s new.

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We’ve been teasing you folks about WhatsApp for Windows Phone, specifically features that were being tested in the private beta. What are those new features? Just the ability to send pre-recorded videos and up to 10 images at once.

Luckily for you, version 2.11.340 of WhatsApp for the general public just went live in the Store and it has those aforementioned features, plus the usual bug fixes.

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WhatsApp has been plowing through feature updates in the private beta series. The latest version, beta 332, went out late last night/early this morning and continues to add new functions to the app. Those functions, including the coveted add pre-recorded videos and saving of sent videos, should be coming down the pike in a big update relatively soon.

Today’s update brings with it one big new feature: account data migration. By heading into Settings > Account, users will find a new addition near the bottom: Change My Number. Tapping that button brings you to an information screen, detailing the process. The next screen allows you to enter in your old and new phone numbers to begin the process.

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Just yesterday we reported on some forthcoming features in the popular messaging app WhatsApp. The new features, which include saving of videos to the device, were found in the private beta of the app. Soon after that article though, WhatsApp pushed out another update to version 2.11.322 and it now has the long coveted feature of attaching videos. We have verified that the new functionality is present.

The system for attaching videos is very basic. Users simply tap on the ‘Albums’ icon to browse their library of media, but instead of just photos, videos are now visible there as well. From that screen, users can just attach the video, which will then be auto-sent to the contact. It’s basic but it works and we imagine it will be refined a little over the next few betas. Limits for video size and length are currently not known.

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