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The most popular standalone chat platform on Android, WhatsApp, has been updated with a whole new look - and it's holo-y. About a month ago, WhatsApp previewed its redesigned aesthetic in a beta release, and now those changes have made their way into the release client. While the changelog is pretty sparse on details ('update user interface to the latest android look and feel'), compared to the old version of the app, the visual differences should be fairly obvious.

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There's also mention of three and five-year subscription discount options, should you plan your proprietary chat platform usage that far out, and support for Vietnamese. New users still get a year of the app for free, and will be charged $0.99 a year thereafter. Head to the Play Store to grab the new update now.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • The_Chlero

    About time. The question is: does this new version uses more ram? My memory footprint ranges between 14 and 42. (im speaking about ram memory not storage space)


      Ouch, are you using a G1?

    • EMullins

      The current version of the app is showing me 6.5 MB. Memory usage may depend on how many people you have on Whatsapp though. I only have 20 people on it so far, and I haven't used group messaging yet.

  • http://www.florianheinle.de/ Florian Heinle

    After this whole security debacle with the passwords, masquerading plaintext traffic on port 443 after having had no encryption at all, I don't really trust WhatsApp any more. Now that it costs something I just don't care about it any more. While it's only 99¢, Facebook Messenger is free and enough people use it already, plus I get to chat with people using the Facebook site on their computer, too

    • http://www.marciobm.com/ Márcio Matielo

      It's costing something now? Really!?

      • DaRk

        Oh no, what will you do! You will be able to eat tonight?!

        • http://www.marciobm.com/ Márcio Matielo

          No. I'm just surprised. I paid zero million dollars for it, that's it.

          They brought back that "free for the first year" philosophy??

    • DaRk

      Facebook makes millions of dollars of ad revenue on their desktop site and mobile application. That's why they can offer their app for free, but I'm pretty sure that Whatsapp team barely makes $200,000+ per year...

    • Abhijeet Mishra

      well then, don't use it, plain and simple. I don't see how complaining about it in a post about the app getting updated is helpful or needed in any way. Though I guess you did let some potential readers of your comment know about the security issues so they can stop using it if those issues concern them. not trying to be rude but I see no point in saying 'I don't use WhatsApp.'


      • http://www.florianheinle.de/ Florian Heinle

        well, yes, that was my point: let people know about the problems and suggest an alternative. I will admit to ranting in my comment, however it's a comment, not the OP :)

  • maverick

    "will be charged $0.99 a year thereafter"
    never happened. Subscription got renewed twice and the end of the subscription period. Have been using it for free since the past 2 years :P

    • http://profiles.google.com/fahadayaz Fahad Ayaz

      Unfortunately, mine actually expired at the beginning of March. I ended up having to pay for it.

      • Al

        Same here

    • Zaatour36

      I don't have an expiration date, and had WhatsApp since iPhone 3GS!!

      • EMullins

        That's because when you register your number on an iPhone, you get a lifetime account.

        • Zaatour36

          That's not fair for Android users!

          Good for me though :-)

          • EMullins

            I dunno about that, Android users didn't have to pay upfront for the app to use it, and they got like 2 years of free service before Whatsapp started enforcing the charge. Meanwhile, they got to make money off iPhone users like crazy, who are more likely to pay upfront for an app anyway.

  • Joaquín Tuduri

    Could it be even pre-4.0 phones now have quite a holoish UI?

    • Thomas Gladdines

      yes these have also the holo UI, just like google play music/videos/books/etc also has the holo ui even on older android versions.

  • ProductFRED

    What's funny is I bought Whatsapp on iPhone (I bought an iPhone cheap to resell it once) for like 99 cents or however much it was, and when I put my SIM back in my GS3 and installed the app, I had a lifetime account. Such a scumbag move on behalf of the Whatsapp team for charging iOS users less. I don't even know if you can get a lifetime account on Android.

    • EMullins

      Fred, I can make you even more jelly. I got Whatsapp on iPhone for free when they did their 1 week giveaway during the Holiday season. Like yourself I have a Lifetime account.

      To be honest though, I'd pay their 5 year deal for $3.50 because really, its such a tiny amount for such a long time of good cross-platform messaging.

      • challenge_accepted

        I have lifetime from windows phone. It was always free.

        • EMullins

          That's weird. If what you're saying is true, that doesn't make much sense, unless they think Windows Phone would not get them a profit anyway.

      • The_Chlero

        Even more Jelly Fred? On Nokia phone and Windows Phones, WhatsApp is totally free, forever and ever.

        • ProductFRED

          I never said I was jelly lol. I paid $1.99 for lifetime service. That's as good as free for me. Why are you bringing Windows Phone into this lol? It may have Whatsapp for free, but it has few apps altogether.

      • http://www.facebook.com/irinel.loghin Irinel Loghin

        I`m on Android and I have it free ... I activated 2 years ago ... 2-3 months ago I got the 2nd renewal for free... last year I was thinking that they had a promo or somethin` ... this year the same ... Just have to wait until 01/11/2014 to check it out :)

    • HellG

      yup that has been known for a while, as far as i remember people used to use their friend's idevices and jailbreak and sideload the app and use their accounts on it and get lifetime access for free :/

      • ProductFRED

        I actually paid though. And it sucks because if you pay the same amount on Android, you still have to renew every year.

        • HellG

          then stop using it, i will advice you to use Viber or Nimbuzz, i like nimbuzz more though

          • EMullins

            Easier said than done, HellG. With things like Whatsapp, you go to where the users are, not where the best deal is. At least Fred now has the option of paying 5 years for $3.50.

          • HellG

            eh, good point :/
            FB chat anyone? ^^

          • ProductFRED

            I never have to pay again though. That's what I'm saying. I registered on an iPhone and then moved to my Galaxy S3 and retained my Lifetime account. On Android, you can't make a lifetime account (pay $1.99 once, for life). You can only move it over from an iPhone via your existing phone number/SIM card.

          • EMullins

            Yeah I know what you're saying. It's a crappy deal for Android users, but you have to admit, Android users are less likely to pay upfront for an app, so this business model Whatsapp has makes sense in the long term.

          • ProductFRED

            I paid once while I was on the iPhone. I have an account for life now. I never have to renew. I'm just saying that it's messed up to continuously charge other Android users when on iOS you pay once and you're set for life.

    • Thomas Gladdines

      Whatsapp is going to be the same on iphones this year, which means also based on yearly licenses instead of a lifetime license.

      So if you're going to try getting a lifetime license trough a iphone make it quick!

  • EMullins

    Been using the Beta since it was silently put out at the Whatsapp homepage and I finally enjoy using it instead of just having to use it because Google sucks at making Talk a great solution.

    Whatsapp > Cyanogenmod SMS apk > Talk (damn you, Google)

  • http://www.marciobm.com/ Márcio Matielo

    Me likes it!

  • nawa

    Check out the comments, people really want that ugly Froyo UI back. ._.

    • EMullins

      The Holo UI still needs a bit of work in the text input area, to be fair. This UI is pretty recent so there's a lot of room for refinement.

      • Thomas Gladdines

        what's wrong with it? that enter doesn't work anymore? it's in the options...

    • http://www.facebook.com/RobJohnson90 Rob Johnson

      As with most Holo themed things, the Froyo UI was better!

      • Thomas Gladdines

        hopefully you'll never work for the google design team, if google ever reverts back to the old design I would go mad and become very sad.

    • zee

      no, the old version have iOS look not froyo

      • nawa

        It was shitty anyways :D

  • EMullins

    For those of you complaining about the fee Whatsapp charges:

    1) They added a discount method of payment where you can get 5 years of access for $3.50 instead of $5.
    2) I'd rather pay a small fee every 5 years than do my cross-platform messaging on Fecesbook where I get all my messages datamined and the fact that they say they will never have ads is yet another plus.

  • GraveUypo

    huh. i never got an expiration date on mine.
    still using it for free on both my android phones and never got any messages saying i would have to pay.

    • EMullins

      Go to settings > account > payment info. That will tell you when your service expires. You won't get a message until that day.

      • GraveUypo

        oh so it expires on 02/02/2014.

        kinda random.

  • mauric

    Well, they just painted the gingerbread to make it look holo and not in the best way... Why does a green themed app have blue letters?!

  • http://twitter.com/WoShiJiawei Adrian アドリアンタン郭華

    Bah.. U guys complaining bout it being chargeable, ever though what could be the alternatives? Popup ads along with every notification? Full screen ads that greet u every time whatsapp is opened? Or even banner ads?

    • Nicole Gagneux

      I agree.

      I like the fact that they FINALLY did something about the design of their interface, I hope they add more thinks to it, like costumization options that aren't so anemic compared to most Android apps. I'll happily pay 0.99 for Whatsapp.

  • Ivan Feign

    Yesss, finally. Now all my apps are holo. Loving how consistent Android is becoming.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matteo-Rodrigo/1340430528 Matteo Rodrigo

    Use viber to call n text people in other countries and never a fee

  • http://www.yepi8.org/ yepi8

    yeah i think the new application and effectiveness is always needed and will be more supporters

  • Walaah

    Never have had to pay for this, been using for like what 3 year or so. Started it on blackberry, they kept extending it, last one being in feb this year. Strange how they work, but whatever, as long as it works i guess.

  • http://www.yepi-yepi.com/ Yepi

    While it's only 99¢, Facebook Messenger is free and enough people use it already, plus I get to chat with people using the Facebook site on their computer, too

  • Yingming En Carla Wong

    Carla wonglatten

  • nanoscan

    tbh, the UI still look like crap.