WhatsApp, a popular cross platform messaging application, has now been released on Windows Phone 7 platform. The app, however, only works with the Mango version of the Windows Phone 7 operating system and can be downloaded on handsets compatible with Mango update.
The limitation is significant since there are so many Windows based handsets that have not received the Mango update, which is expected to be pushed to all Windows Phone users in the next week. WhatsApp runs on most major smartphone operating systems including Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Symbian.
The most convenient part of the app is that it uses the phone number of the user as identity, so that users need not go through a lengthy registration process.
WhatsApp sends messages through the internet hence SMS charges are not applicable but users have to pay for the data consumption.
Also, the messaging app scans the address book of the users once, when users sign in for the first time, and tells them which of their friends is using WhatsApp.
In simple terms, it builds the contact list for users quickly enough and in a simple manner, which takes care of the major barrier at the start of app use. Another positive is that the app runs in the background once users are signed in, and new messages are pushed as notifications to let them know who wants to talk to them.