March 18, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
The best? Maybe. The original? You betcha. PingChat was the first messaging app we covered back in August 2010, calling it “BBM for Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone.” It was the first to support all three platforms and remains one of the few with that distinction. PingChat allows users to share photos, videos, voice notes, and map locations within one app.
PingChat also supports group messaging and all of the aforementioned features into a nice-looking interface. Only a handful of people I know still use the app, but there are more than 8 million active users. PingChat is a great way to communicate without using up too much data and is a great communication tool to have if your friends have adopted it. The long-standing presence on Android also means that it’s available for Android 1.5 or higher.
What’s up with Whatsapp? A lot based on all the features available. Sharing photos? That’s child’s play. Video sharing? Yup, that’s there too. Users can also share music files or record a voice note, send their location, or start a group chat. And in a unique twist to the cross-platform talks, WhatsApp works on Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Nokia. The Nokia support is insignificant in the U.S., but it’s very important in Europe and Asia.
Sadly, all of these features don’t perform too well as Whatsapp looks and operates in a disappointing fashion. WhatsApp tells me that I have 10 friends using the app, but 4 of them used it once and uninstalled. I can’t remove those contacts from the app and it’s annoying. What’s even more annoying, is that certain people are marked online or available, but when I click on names, it says, “Last seen at 1:09 2/5/2011.” The basic communication of WhatsApp is decent, but the contact management is not very good and this app is just not worth the hassle unless you live in a country where Nokia smartphones are still popular.
Hit the next page for a conclusion and our comparison chart.