WhatsApp’s first update of the year has arrived, delivering a number of changes as well as a new business model for iOS users. The one-time fee associated with WhatsApp for iOS is being replaced with a subscription model in an effort to entice new users to give the app a shot.
The app initially sold for $0.99 in the App Store but as of today, it’ll be free of charge to download and use for the next year. After the one year trial period has expired, users will be charged $0.99 annually if they wish to keep using the popular messaging application.
If you have already purchased the app and are concerned about being billed each year, don’t be. Those that purchased the app before the price change will be allowed to use it free of charge for the rest of your life.
Other changes in version 2.10.1 include the ability to send multiple images at once, support for URL schema in third-party apps and iCloud support used to back up and restore chat history. In the event that you uninstall then reinstall WhatsApp, you will be prompted to restore your chat history during setup.
WhatsApp allows users to send and receive text messages across multiple platforms without having to use traditional SMS techniques. The app recently set a new record of 27 billion messages processed in one day. It’s currently available for all major mobile platforms including Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Symbian and Windows Phone.
The Apple iPhone 5 is the latest flagship smartphone from Apple. The iPhone 5 features a 4-inch display retains the same 326 PPI density as its predecessor with an effective resolution of 1,126 x 640, and a new Lightning connector. The new handset now features 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with 802.11n supporting dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Bluetooth 4.0 is back in addition to GPS and GLONASS for location services.
The iPad mini is a smaller version of the iPad and it’s much more than just a shrunken-down iPad. The iPad Mini packs a dual-core A5 processor, dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, a FaceTime HD camera, 5-megapixel rear iSight camera with 1080p recording and an optional LTE radio. The Mini sports a 7.9-inch display and 1,024 x 768 resolution. Battery life is estimated at 10 hours.
The iPhone 4S looks identical to last year's model but comes in a new 64GB flavor and upgrades the camera to include an 8-megapixel sensor with improved low-light performance and 1080p video capture. In terms of performance the new iPhone is reportedly up to 2x faster and is also capable of running on faster HSPA+ networks, reaching theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.
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