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What’s up with WhatsApp? GrownUps Fresh Zealand

What’s up with WhatsApp?

Recently my son and his family moved to an area where their mobile phone provider’s signal was not available. However once they went to the top of their drive, lo and behold, the signal returned. This may seem OK but, with them not having a land-line, it meant being incapable to contact the family by mobile phone. Very frustrating.

If I can’t call people, I will usually text but for my family I knew any text sent wouldn’t be received until after they left home.

Recently, I was introduced to an application which solved my communication problem in one swipe. It’s called ‘WhatsApp”. I was so struck I installed it instantaneously on my smartphone.

Here is what I now get when using WhatsApp:

• Free* messages to family and friends. These can be typed or I can use my phones voice recognition capability [more on that shortly so see this space!] • I can set up a group made up of friends or family and in one message communicate with every one at the same time.

• Talk to anyone in Fresh Zealand OR overseas for free*. My mobile phone voice minutes aren’t affected.

• I can record a sound byte [a file with my voice recorded] and send that off too. A fine idea if while you’re on the run, you want to send yourself a ‘voice note’ reminder.

• If talking or texting isn’t enough I can make a movie call and see who I am talking to. Good for truly keeping in touch.

• I can take pictures or movies and seamlessly share them with people I am in contact with.

• I can run the application also on my computer at home via a browser and effortlessly sync all talks and messages with my clever phone.

• While travelling overseas WhatsApp works just fine. Just be mindful tho’ that as it uses the internet you will be billed for using cellular data unless you have a plan in the Country you are in. The alternative is to turn off data wandering and just rely on local free Wi-Fi.

• WhatsApp comes with ‘end to end encryption’. What this means is that no-one else can read, see or listen to messages other than you, the sender, or your recipient(s).

*[This assumes you are connected through your data connection via Wi-Fi]

Unlike text’s WhatsApp uses an internet connection to transmit messages [written and spoken], photos, video’s and emoji’s. This meant that I will now be able to communicate with my son and the rest of his family, irrespective of whether their mobile signal is working or not. What’s more, it hasn’t incurred any fees as it uses an internet connection. An enormous plus is I don’t need to wait to receive a reply confirming my message has been received and read. Two blue ticks at the bottom of the message confirm they have read it.

So many features come with this application. The fine news is that there is a version available for any smartphone – Apple, Windows or Android.

Yet again technology is taking us all to a much better place where we can communicate with loved ones, friends and acquaintances here and around the world sharing memories and practices.

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