WhatsApp has been in need of a serious update on Windows Phone for months now, relying on what has been considered a hack to ensure users receive notifications. The result, however, was poor battery life, as the app was using an audio API to keep a connection open in the background, sucking up precious battery in the process.
Today’s update fixes that issue by ensuring push notifications are truly sent on an as-needed basis, and adds some long-requested features like initiating voice calls from within the app.
The app also adds a number of smileys to the regular keyboard, fixes issues with the double-wide live tile on the homescreen, and adds a feature called fast resume, allowing users to navigate back to the app from the tile without loading the app from scratch.
WhatsApp is one of the only cross-platform instant messaging apps for Windows Phone that continues to receive support from developers. Asian upstarts like Hike and Line are making a name on Windows Phone, too, but popular North American service Kik hasn’t been updated in nearly 18 months. WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging service with over 200 million users, and today’s update will alleviate a lot of pain for the average Windows Phone user.
Download WhatsApp for Windows Phone.