WhatsApp Android Update: New Design, New Feel, New Features And More

By Slav Kandyba , Mar 16, 2013 09:18 AM EDT

Multi-platform messaging service WhatsApp has given its Android app a facelift with a fresher design and feel, making it easier to view messages and photos.

As self-described by WhatsApp on Google Play, the new design has the "latest Android look and feel." The messages can now be viewed as small previews instead of little thumbnails with a "view" button, according to Pocket-Lint.

The menus are different too, with the settings getting a nice, clean look and the in-chat menu acquiring the standard Android three dots in the top right-hand corner, where the smiley button once was, Pocket-Lint reports, making it more convenient to access options such as making calls. Smiley key drops down to the messaging window, and so overlays the keyboard ready for quick insertion when you need to add that essential emoticon.

WhatsApp competes with Viber, another universal messaging service, and iOS iMessage and BlackBerry Messenger. It is free for the first year and then charges annual, three- and five-year subscriptions. The new version, 2.9.3697, has three different payment options, reports Softonic blog, within the app itself, instead of an external site. Google Wallet, Paypal and payment URL via email are among the options. 

A WhatsApp app for BlackBerry 10 was released this week, according to Ubergizmo

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