One of the most popular instant messaging services, WhatsApp proudly announced last month that it had more than 450 million active users and about half that were sending messages on a daily basis.
WhatsApp services are available on all mobile platforms thanks to the applications released by developers, which act as gateways for messaging.
The application known as WhatsApp Messenger is available on Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Symbian and Windows Phone. In fact, it’s not only available on these mobile platforms, but the team behind the messaging service also supports all these operating systems.
Even the Symbian version of WhatsApp, which is not supported in the Nokia Store anymore, still receives regular updates that bring bug fixes, small improvements, tweaks and sometime new features.
Unfortunately, there are major issues with the Windows Phone 8.1 of WhatsApp. I have enjoyed the Developer Preview released by Microsoft in mid-April, but right from the start, I noticed that something was wrong with the rate at which my phone was eating my battery’s energy.
At first I thought that it was the new operating system with all the new features and improvements, so I thought that my old Nokia Lumia 920 couldn’t handle the transition as smoothly as it should.
But then, I started NOT receiving messages that I had been sent on WhatsApp, or they were arriving much later. So I began investigating and the first thing that I discovered was that the application that really ate my battery life was WhatsApp Messenger.
I usually squeeze at least 1 day of heavy use from all my smartphones, but Nokia Lumia 920 with WhatsApp Messenger couldn’t even handle that, so I had to charge it during the day as well.
The situation changed drastically when I uninstalled WhatsApp and installed it on my second smartphone. Suddenly, my Lumia 920 could last two days without needing a charge, so there was clearly something wrong with WhatsApp.
Obviously, some people can get past this, but the fact that it often happens that you don’t receive messages sent to you until much later is unacceptable. The only fix for this issue would be to open WhatsApp yourself from time to time, but there’s no guarantee that you will get the messages right away.
Another problem is that these issues do not seem to affect all Windows Phone 8.1 users. However, it appears that the vast majority of early adopters experience these problems that have yet to be fixed by the developers.
Unfortunately, there’s no telling when WhatsApp Messenger for Windows Phone 8.1 will be updated to remedy these problems, but given the fact that the application hasn’t received a major update in months, Windows Phone users will probably have to wait a very long time for a new version.
It’s weird that the beta version of WhatsApp (which doesn’t accept testers anymore) gets updated even once per week, while the stable WhatsApp Messenger for Windows Phone received just one update several months ago.
Perhaps WhatsApp developers are now waiting for Microsoft to release the final version of Windows Phone 8.1, but the Developer Preview is in fact meant to test the apps and make them compatible before WP8.1 hits general release.
I sincerely hope that the folks over at WhatsApp have already acknowledged these issues and will soon offer fixes, otherwise I’ll be switching to another instant messenger soon (BBM anyone?). Have you experienced any of the problems I have mentioned in this piece? Share your thoughts in the comments section.