Whatsapp is one of the best messaging apps online, and it is perhaps the most used app on my smartphone. The reason for its popularity is that it is a cross platform app. In many cases, it has replaced the regular SMS and telecom companies are reportedly losing a lot of money because of whatsapp.
There are several other cross platform messaging apps, and some of them may be even better than whatsapp, but whatsapp has just gone viral and all are using it. Also, your account ID is your phone number, so no more scratching head for selecting a user ID that’s already taken, or remembering that pesky BBM pin.
Whatsapp is a very popular app for Android devices, but despite its popularity, it’s a part of the depressingly huge collection of Android apps that share interface with their iOS counterparts, never aspiring to anything higher. The UI of course needs an upgrade desperately because the current interface has been there for a long time now. For those who have been waiting for folks at whatsapp to release a new version, the wait is over for Android users. WhatsApp has released a beta version of the popular app for Android, and the app has received a Holo-themed redesign, and if you are adventurous, you can grab it now!
The beta version of the app isn’t available on the playstore, and you will have to sideload it manually from WhatsApp website directly. It’s a free download and you can use the app for 1 year without spending a penny, post which you will be asked to pay $0.99 in order to continue using the service.
The new design conforms to the Holo design guidelines which rest of the phone interface also hopefully follows. Whatsapp has faced negative criticism regarding the security issues in the past. Previously, WhatsApp used to send all chats in plaintext, so basically anyone connected to the same Wi-Fi network can easily read the entire conversation you are making, including pictures and videos. The process of pulling the conversation out of air isn’t a tough one because there are apps such as WhatsAppSniffer which does the job very easily. WhatsAppSniffer is basically a packet sniffer which can pull out whatsapp data that belongs to other users on the same network, which isn’t exactly a good thing because there is no privacy and you may as well shout private conversations across the room.
According to whatsapp, the plaintext issue has been solved and the affected apps have been taken down from the Play Store. The exploit was definitely a major one, but what’s interesting is the fact that Whatsapp knew about the flaw much before they released a fix. They knew the flaw for over a year before they decided to carry out some modifications, which clearly shows how careless the developers are when it comes to security of user’s data.
What do you think of whatsapp beta for Android? Did you like it? Let us know using the comment form below.
Download the beta over here.