Sunday, 14 July 2013

WhatsApp, WeChat, and Line : The pros and cons

 Ever since WhatsApp  was founded in 2009, it has had to strive against a lot of competitors in the messenger field. However, over the last few years, perhaps, WhatsApp has gained quite a great amount of popularity. Just as it's founder's proudly claim, it indeed "has done to SMS on mobile phones, what Skype did to international calling."

WHATSAPP($ 0.99 p.a

The main reasons for WhatsApp's brief undisputed reign in the messenger market, perhaps, might be attributed to Nokia.
♦ Nokia with it's launch of the Asha models, on which WhatsApp comes integrated with, has a major role.
♦ The second most important reason is the variety of choice that WhatsApp has to offer  when it comes to mobile platforms. Now perhaps for people in US and UK, with the majority of people using Android, iOS or Blackberry OSes; the compatibility of an app is not an issue. But in India, a lot is still dependent on Symbian or even Java. So WhatsApp is definitely a God-sent for them.

WhatsApp on different platforms.
 Pros:
1. Simple and easy to use UI. Layout is beautiful, and specialized for Android.
2.Audio messages.
3.Multi platform support(Including Java and Symbian).
4.Less to almost no spam, because only people who have your number may WhatsApp you.
5.Push notifications, with significantly less RAM usage. (Also pop-up is available).
6.Unlike Google Voice or TextNow, WhatsApp is available in almost all countries. International texting cost is greatly reduced.
7.I have not mentioned the other facilities like Group Chat,emoticons, stickers, sending pictures e.t.c, as these are common in almost all messengers these days.
8.*Any others which the users might find personally.

Cons:
1. Though I understand that this app was created with the sole objective of replacing chat I think there should be an option for socializing and meeting new people; especially for people like me who love strangers. Perhaps an option to add via email or  name?
2.No option for video or voice call.( I know, I know it is meant to replace SMS).
3. Audio and any other things we send as attachments gets downloaded to the device. Can't we just  view them online and choose whether or not to download?( I'm not sure if this is only happening in my phone*)
4. No way to turn it off completely. (Hey SMS doesn't consume data or battery all the time).
5. No option to send videos or music.



LINE(free)

Line is a comparatively new IM application. It was first launched in 2011, and as of 2013 it has about 120 million users. Like WhatsApp it too provides a multi platform support.


The pros and cons are pretty much the same as WhatsApp, however this app provides an option of audio call via 3G or WiFi network.

EXTRA FEATURES:

1. It provides an option to integrate your account with your email id as well as your phone number. This is a huge pro, because with hacking being this rampant these days and people changing phones too often, it is not very unusual for one to lose his number or phone access. Email security allows them to reclaim their chats,contacts and change their phone number.
2. Voice call facility is surely a feature that boosts up this app to a lot higher position than it's prototypes.
3. More stickers than WhatsApp. (I think so*).


4. Option to follow popular companies and K pop artists.
5. A timeline like view almost like Facebook, but the like and response options are a bit different.











OTHER CONS:
1. As with most things, too much features makes this app a bit sloppy. Android 2.3.xx users might find it a bit irritating to use Line, as the UI is not suitable and keeps force closing when network is weak during a call.
2. The option of audio call surely brings to us the want of video call. Especially now with most people on a WiFi network with unlimited data usages.
3. The Audio messages(voicemails) sent are often sloppy and have to be downloaded as an attachment unlike WeChat.

WECHAT(free)

WeChat was developed by Tencent  and launched in 2011. It was promoted largely in India, and has gained a fair share of users  (70 million outside China as of May this year). This app if hit's the popularity level of WhatsApp; will be hard to stop. This is simply because of the features it has to    
offer .WeChat has almost all the facilities of Line and WhatsApp, including, adding via email, multi platform support, Facebook log in, emoticons, stickers e.t.c. But what makes it stand apart from the others is it's beautiful voice messaging. The voice messages get sent seamlessly in all devices(including Android 2.3.XX and s60).



ADDITIONAL PROS:
1. Flawless voice messaging ( I've tried it on Symbian, Blackberry and Android without any issues).
2. Ability to listen to voice messages instantly, without having to download it as an attachment.
3. The Social section with "Moments" is excellent. Also, only people who are friends can see each others comment. Great privacy move.
4. Meet strangers and socialize via:
         ♦Shake.
         ♦ Look Around.
         ♦ Drift Bottles.


5. Video and voice calls.
6. Live chat option makes conversations  come alive with multiple people voice chatting together.

CONS:
1. No status of "Online" or "Offline". Hard o make out if a user is active or deleted the app from his/her phone.
2. Mostly Chinese users. Yep, the language barrier.


Over time, Science and Tech has advanced to give IMs and Smart Phones a whole new look. all these three messengers are great. It actually depends on which one your friends and family uses, so you can stay connected.

Because, staying connected is more important than having a lot of features but no one to use it with.


Line                 WhatsApp        WeChat








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