WhatsApp Can you live without it? #Windowsphone8

Update: The “last seen”, the innovative feature what “Whatsapp” protected dearly could be turned off, in case if you are using Android or iPhone. Wait, no party yet. As soon as you start typing or reading a message, you are seen as “online” to your contacts (If you want you can still use Whatsapp, else eff yaselp n die) and the catch is turning off the “last seen” is reciprocating! Less said, if you decided nobody should when you were last seen, you will not able to see that last seen time stamp of others either.

for Windows Phone users, the last update for Whatspp over this platform was by early January 2014 and it looks like the users are going to wait a long long time for the latest “feature”. However we have a hack for you! We transferred the SIM to an Android phone, activated the whatsapp account, turned off the “last seen” feature and transferred it back to the Windows Phone 8 device, activated the account from the device and viola! It did the charm! Remember you can’t turn on the “last seen” feature from the Windows Phone yet, hence you will be forced to go through the method explained above.

Windowsphone Whatsapp

Windowsphone Whatsapp

So hooked to WhatsApp? it is one of the fastest, almost free (0.99$) after the first year as claimed and a nitty-gritty app available across all known mobile platforms

Saudi Arabia had “issues” with how WhatsApp handles the privacy, personally I feel  WhatsApp could and should adopt certain privacy policies based on the user requests, which they were adamant NOT to until date. Seems like enabling the ability to let the users turn of the last seen “feature” breaks down their servers…

Ongoing discussions

http://www.ciol.com/ciol/news/174552/is-whatsapp-seen-functionality-getting-trouble

http://www.times.co.sz/entertainment/90491-that-monster-called-%E2%80%98last-seen%E2%80%99-on-whatsapp.html

and Google/Bing for “Whatsapp breaking relations last seen” bring up hundreds of threads discussing how the “last seen” is clearly causing troubles in relationships

 

The major concerns

As soon as someone installs the software, the entire contact lists are uploaded to WhatsApp servers and thus the software figures out who are you contacts to initiate a chat. Thus anyone happened to have your number could start sending you messages day and night, oh yes, puhless don’t forget you can “block” them

Highly controversial “last seen” feature, which is updated by WhatsApp server(s) allowing your contacts to know when the last time you were active over WhatsApp and thus come to conclusion that you didn’t reply/respond to them on time. How it affects me? Well loads. I manage IT department and there are suppliers who are adopting WhatsApp for anything and everything. Recently I started receiving requests for payments, even copies of invoices through WhatsApp with requests to “Please print and submit to your accounts department”. Then comes complaints from contacts who start feeling I am not responding to few of them purposely even when they saw me online? What the heck?

The alternatives?

Obviously, there are other companies who care and listen to user concerns like the above ones listed and tweak the apps to give what the users demand on the privacy domain

Based on personal usage, I have ranked couple of apps like below

  1. Line Messenger (has desktop client): Until date, no other apps I have tried out comes anywhere closer to line messenger while it is all about privacy. Let us have a look at the application from the privacy prespective
    1. On screen password: Yes, the app has a inbuilt password handler, setting up will request a password to be supplied every time when a user tries to open the application
    2. wp_ss_20140316_0003
    3. wp_ss_20140316_0002
    4. Notifications: You can completely disable the notifications or turn off the preview(which is buggy after the latest release for #wp8)
    5. wp_ss_20140316_0005
    6. Decide how one should add you as a friend
    7. wp_ss_20140316_0004
  2. Viber (has desktop client): A long waited app on #wp8 is slowly making sense (minimum to me) with 4.0.1 update, which allows a #wp8 user the following
    1. Allows users to turn off the “Seen” status completely
    2. wp_ss_20140316_0001
    3. Allows you to turn of the “Online” status completely, however the status could be updated only once in 24 hours
  3. Hike: Is an emerging Indian IM, widely used by Indians as it supports free SMS to India, ie, a user can send free SMS to devices which are not having Hike!, ie, to a regular mobile and receive replies against them and it adds up the free SMS left counter! truly sweet and a better business model. From the privacy perspective Hike supports the following
    1. Turn off Last Seen
    2. Turn of Location
    3. wp_ss_20140316_0006

That’s all folks, regardless the counter arguments about what one should not do online, being a bit careful about what app you use in your mobile phone saves loads of troubles in real life scenarios. We hope that you enjoyed another post from us, which is off-topic this time.

regards,

rajesh

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