WhatsApp for Windows Phone: Hands on Review

WhatsApp for Windows Phone was pulled off from the Windows Phone Store a few weeks ago due to critical notification issues with Windows Phone 8 Update 3 and today WhatsApp came back into the Windows Phone Store with new features. WhatsApp has introduced new features such as Chat backgrounds, privacy settings and others for Windows Phone, we go hands on in this review.

Chat Backgrounds

First up is chat backgrounds, now you can set backgrounds for chats. There are built in backgrounds that you can use or just select your own backgrounds.
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To set up chat backgrounds, go to settings, click on chat settings, and then select default background. Now you can see various options like background gallery, take a photo, choose from albums, search web and remove. You can use the background gallery to select a background from a set of in built backgrounds. Further you can take a photo and set it as your background, you can also a chose a background from your albums too. In case if you want to remove your set background, you can just remove it by clicking on remove.
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Privacy Settings

Next up is Privacy Settings. Now you can control your privacy settings like last seen, status and your profile picture. You can set these to Everyone, your contacts or nobody. To access your Privacy Settings, simply open up settings, then into account and click on the privacy button. You can now see various options to hide your last seen, profile photo and status.
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Media Auto Download Settings

You can now control how media is downloaded on WhatsApp. You can set whether to download images, video and audio to either never, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi and cellular or Wi-Fi, cellular, roaming. Voice messages are automatically downloaded to ensure best communication experience. To access Media Auto Download settings, go to settings>chat settings> media auto-download.
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Custom Notification Tones

Custom Notifications Tones allows you to change the sound of the notifications you get. You can set separate notification tones for message notifications and group notifications.
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General Improvements

Then at last we have general improvements and bug fixes. I have noticed that WhatsApp has become really smooth than the previous versions which were pretty laggy. The height of a message is automatically adjusted, which before had a minimum height. Updating status now is bit different now, you’ll have go into settings>profile to change your status. WhatsApp lags a lot less now, many of the bugs have been fixed. The settings is lot more organized now.
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Conclusion

WhatsApp for Windows Phone has become a whole lot better. I guess this would cool down angry users who just bought a Windows Phone only to find out that WhatsApp has been pulled off from the Store. We are glad that the WhatsApp team is working on improving WhatsApp for Windows Phone further. You can grab WhatsApp for Windows Phone here.

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