whatsapp

It was just a few days ago that WhatsApp received not only a bug fix, but a smorgasbord of new features to quell the angry masses of messaging fiends. That update was version 2.11.490.0 of the popular messaging client and late tonight a small patch has just been pushed out bumping WhatsApp to a modest 2.11.494; to put that in perspective that is slightly ahead of the private beta, which stands at 2.11.492.

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Can you feel that? It’s Friday, which means we’re about to go have fun for the weekend, but there may be a WhatsApp update in store for us shortly. Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore took to Twitter again to calm the surging masses who want their WhatsApp back. In the brief tweet, Belfiore noted that they have worked with the WhatsApp team and that the fix should be here “quite soon”. To our ears that sounds like some last minute certification is occurring, meaning we may have something by this weekend (or earlier).

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What’s up? WhatsApp is still not available for those to download from the Windows Phone Store. Late April, we reported that WhatsApp for Windows Phone was broken with no fix in sight. A few weeks after that, WhatsApp was pulled from the Store. Microsoft later clarified that they were working with WhatsApp on a fix. Now we have an update on the situation from Microsoft. Details after the break.

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It was only last week when we learned that Ngram, an unofficial Telegram Messenger app, would become the official one, receiving approval from the Telegram team. Fast forward a few days and the changeover has now occurred in the Store, as the links to Ngram show the re-branded app as Telegram Messenger Beta v 0.14.5.27.

The whole story started a few months ago when the Telegram team decided to open source their app development in a pseudo-contest, letting numerous Telegram clone apps onto the Store (see app our roundup). Presumably the one that they liked the most becomes re-branded as the official app for Windows Phone. It’s a cool use of the talented Windows Phone developer pool, and we wish more companies would take such opportunities.

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WhatsApp servers are down — it's not just you!

WhatsApp, the incredibly popular instant messaging service recently purchased by Facebook for almost $20 bilion, is offline at the moment. So, yeah, it's not just you. It's the WhatsApp servers. There's no word yet on how long the outage will last, so let us know in the comments whether it's working for you yet, and if not, when it starts working again!

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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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The best messaging apps on Windows Phone

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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