WhatsApp to me, is my most used app. It has been for the longest time, even since back when they were saying they’d charge $0.99 for a yearly fee. Yeah, that’s been a long time. Even then the concept was so stupid to even think they’d charge a fee for it. Sure, it’s not much, but still. They eventually abolished the whole service charge idea anyway, so I really don’t see what the merit of it was. On top of that you have to register you number to use it. It has it’s pros and cons, but in 2019, its cons actually don’t make sense, and I’ll get to that in a bit.
Besides that, even though I do have issues with the way WhatsApp operates as a company and as an app, it still will remain my most used messaging app. But I really wish it wasn’t. And here’s some reasons why WhatsApp really is still in the stone age when it comes to messaging apps:
The Link To Number System Sucks
Okay, in theory, this makes the most sense and it definitely does make things easier when you get someones number. Everyone has a WhatsApp, and I dare you to find me someone who doesn’t. That’s the beauty and convenience of the app. BUT the problem comes when you need to use your WhatsApp on a number of devices, such as a tablet, or another phone. Me being me, I review a lot of phones, so maybe this is a problem uniquely to me. But everytime I have to review a phone, I dread having to switch over because I have to bring my WhatsApp chats and data along with me.
And it’s not as easy it honestly should be, and that’s a problem. You have to sign in on the other phone with your number that’s linked to WhatsApp, then verify it, then restore your chats from the backup on your first phone. Oh, and it’s using freaking Google Drive to back up your data. Why do they not have their own servers which host our data on the cloud, where we can manage it freely? Why is it so difficult to do?? Or how about, get this, signing in, and thats it. All your chats are there. Your saved media, group chats, everything. So simple.
OH, and if someone texted you while you were switching phones, they’re gone, even if you backed it up before verifying the account on your new phone.
Not to mention the fact that having WhatsApp linked to a number means you cannot use the same WhatsApp account on multiple devices at once. It’s 2019, you’re gonna have a tablet, another phone maybe, and a laptop. WhatsApp Web is fine and dandy, but it’s just more inconvenient than it needed to be. Please, tell me how great the QR code system is to sign in to your WhatsApp is. I’m pretty sure everyone thinks it’s just a pain in the a**.
The UI is Meh
WhatsApp has a simple design language, and doesn’t really do much else. It’s not great, but it gets the job done. But that’s the problem, I want to be able to customise my chat experience just a little bit more than I can, rather than just changing my background. Custom colour bubbles, or maybe a different icon than the standard grey blob if someone doesn’t have a picture? Or how about a DARK MODE. Okay fine, that one is on the way, so I’ll give them that, but still man, I need to be able to customise just more than I can at the moment.
There’s nothing that stands out, and to me, it feels just outdated. It’s pretty much been the same design ever since the early days of WhatsApp with a few minor tweaks, and that’s not great. It just feels like WhatsApp hasn’t evolved as much as it could have in the last couple of years.
How many random contacts do you have?
Another problem that arises from the fact that you have to link a number to your WhatsApp account is that you have a bunch of random people now on your contact list. People I know from high school have long changed their numbers. But I still have their contact saved, and now who is this random aunty in my contacts? It’s such a hassle to have to go back and delete these people if I wanted to, so I just leave it be. But man, oh man, does it piss me off.
Overall, I do have a tonne of gripes with the app. But like I said, it’s not gonna change the fact that I’m going to use it daily. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Ameer, you’re literally describing Telegram” and yes, I know that. Problem is, not everyone uses Telegram, and since WhatsApp is already the norm, it’s kinda difficult to dissuade people from it.
Maybe it’s just me. Am I the only who sees any of these things as a problem? Am I the weird one here?