February 3, 2018
If you’re here, you’re probably somewhat interested in knowing why I dislike WhatsApp so much. To that, I want to be extremely clear. I don’t dislike it, I absolutely hate it. If WhatsApp could cease to exist, I would throw a party.
There’s no denying that WhatsApp created a revolution on the way the world communicates. It pretty much, single-handedly, killed SMS communications. You know, that service provided from your cell carrier where you used to pay a couple cents for every message you sent. It did it because it utilized the internet to send and receive messages, and it made it without forcing you to create a separate account by using your existing phone number. This way it provided a revolutionary communications service that was extremely alluring to everyone who was looking to save money on their cellphone bill.
Unfortunately for me, and for everyone one else (even if they haven’t realized), the innovation stopped right there. That simply put, is the reason I left.
As many out there, I am a man of many devices. When I’m out and about my phone is my main device. I take it everywhere with me. When I’m at home, or at the office, my phone is put down somewhere in the house and left in peace.
Personally I am an Apple user because of the simplicity of painless continuity it offers across all of its devices, and that is simply what I enjoy the most. Don’t get me wrong, I use Apple devices because it works best for me, but I’m sure Android, and other devices, also enjoy some sort of continuity experience. By this I mean, the ability to start a task on one device and end it in an other.
And that’s all it comes down to.
Continuity is an extremely important part of my workflow. I might start reading a web article on my Mac, stand up, and finish reading it on my iPad. I might also start typing a note on my phone, and finish typing it on my Mac, that’s also something I do. The content is always ready for me, to be consumed wherever I want. Without any constrains.
When it comes to communications, I enjoy the same thing. I might be at my computer desk, and my phone could be in my bedroom. But let’s say someone calls me. That phone call is gonna be received on my phone and be sent to my Mac, my iPad, my Apple Watch and obviously my iPhone. And it will allow me to pick it up on any device I want. No need to stand up, and run across the house to get my phone.
The same used to be for me with messages. I lived in the USA for 5 years, and almost everyone used SMSs or some sort of their pre-installed messaging service on their phones. For me and my friends, that used to be Apple’s iMessages, now known as simply messages. If they sent me a message, the same used to be true. I could reply to the messages on my iPhone, but also my iPad, my Mac or even my Apple Watch.
When I moved back to Mexico, non of my friends used messages, not a single one of them.
When I moved back to Mexico, non of my friends used messages, not a single one of them. Everyone uses WhatsApp as their primary messaging service. Which forced me to switch to the service as well.
Now, I’ve been living in Mexico for over 6 months, and I can easily say that WhatsApp has brought me nothing but a lot of headaches. That’s why I was ready to leave. Because of the nature of WhatsApp, the app could only be used in my phone. Surely there’s a web version, but 5 times out of 10 it works. The other 5 times, it has problems connecting to my device, and forces me to stand up, go to the other side of the house and reply on my phone defeating the entire purpose. It has no native desktop app, iPad app, or even a native Apple Watch app.
The only reason I can think for WhatApp falling behind the competition is because Facebook owns it.
We all know that Facebook bought WhatsApp, and let me tell you a little secret. It bought it to improve on their own service known as Facebook Messenger. It wants you to switch over and use their preferred service instead of WhatsApp, and that’s why they’ve been leaving WhatsApp behind. At least that’s the only explanation I can come up with. They bought the app not to make it better, but to absorbe all of its best feature and implement them into Facebook Messenger, and not to improve WhatsApp itself.
Let’s be honest. The reason everyone uses WhatsApp is not because it offers the best experience, and the best service. Everyone uses it because everyone else does, even if there are better services and better options.
Now, I’m clearly not saying that Apple Messages is the only and greatest messaging app there is. Though, I like it very much, I understand not everyone has an iPhone. But we have to agree that WhatsApp is not the best messaging app either. So what are the alternatives if you don’t want to pay SMS charges to your phone carrier? There’s Facebook Messenger, or even better, Telegram.
Telegram is an app that works with your pre-existing phone number just like WhatsApp, so there’s no need on creating a separate account like you would have to with something like Facebook Messenger, Skype, or Google Hangouts. It is fast (faster that WhatsApp), reliable, and secure. Best of all, it offers native apps and support for other devices like desktop computers (Windows or Mac OS), tablets (including the iPad) and smart watches (Android or the Apple Watch).
If I haven’t persuaded you to switch over to Telegram, that’s cool. No worries! You can still stay in touch with me via Facebook Messenger, Skype or my favorite of all time, Apple Messages.
If WhatsApp ever steps up its game, and creates an alluring argument for me to come back to the application, I will. Until then, I’ll keep away from its never ending headaches.