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).
Now, Windows Phone 8.1 users are experiencing issues with notifications (see our forums). For some reason, alerts are showing up 10, 20 or 30 minutes later, assuming you get notified at all. It’s not much better for those on the beta, where at least a pop-up alert reminds you that “some features” won’t work in 8.1. Annoyingly, this pop up shows up each and every time you open the app, making me not want to use it any longer.
Perhaps it’s unfair to expect WhatsApp to work perfectly during the 8.1 Preview, but it’s not even clear why there are random issues with delivering notifications (every other app appears to work). It’s also not obvious why this can’t be fixed – even in the beta – considering the high profile nature of this app. Throw in the never-ending testing, the lack of a public update and the broken notifications for the million of us (give or take) on 8.1, it’s a tad frustrating.
WhatsApp is supposed to receive a major update with VOIP, which could spark a new renaissance. Maybe the team is holding back for Windows Phone 8.1 release to be official, something that is expected by us at the end of May. Regardless, at least for now I’m using Facebook Messenger, which is a bit surprising. But it’s been reliable, forgetting the white-screen-on-resume bug, and hey, it has hilarious stickers to boot. Plus I can use it on multiple phones.
Now it’s your turn. You always ask about an update in comments, so here’s your chance to rant (or praise) WhatsApp. Am I being too critical?
- The best messaging apps on Windows Phone (March 2014)