Safaricom and Airtel – be worried, WhatsApp update enables calls

Twitter, Facebook and almost every other App require us to download updates daily (Twitter) and weekly (Facebook); updates that largely do nothing except provide “bug fixes” – bugs you never knew existed. Most of the time, the updates render the Apps more annoying than before, as the update itself introduces new bugs that will be fixed with the next update, which too will have more serious bugs to be fixed with the next update, a cycle that will ensure that the coders always have something to do; otherwise they’ll be rendered jobless.

Gmail and WhatsApp have also been uploading updates in the major Apps Stores since their inception, but not as frequent as Twitter (the worst in frequent useless updates) and Facebook. In very rare occasions will you find Gmail describing its update as “Bug fixes” without any other improvement on key features. The last time I updated my Gmail App, I was treated to a grand new look and ease of use.

WhatsApp has followed this path too. Although WhatsApp updates are never noticeable at the user interface, they have always ensured that they provide stability and smooth user experience. The last time WhatsApp uploaded an update it was for ensuring that you can use WhatsApp seamlessly via the Web.

Related: Meaning of WhatsApp smileys you did not know

Yesterday Gmail released another grand update that will change the way you interact with emails on your mobile phone; and so has WhatsApp released the long anticipated update that will forever change how much of airtime you consume. Let’s delve into the two and find out what exactly we have received – without cost to us.

Gmail update

“Starting today you’ll be able to view all your mail at once, regardless of which account it’s from, using the new All Inboxes option. This way you can read and respond to all your messages without having to hop between accounts”, Gmail Blog team announced.

What this means is that you are not only able to view your regular Gmail messages in the Gmail inbox, but emails you receive from Yahoo (almost everyone has a Yahoo account that’s no longer in use), Outlook, and from your company’s official email account will neatly be displayed in one inbox. And it doesn’t end there. The Gmail Blog team continue,

“Now messages from your Yahoo, and other IMAP/POP accounts will get the same special treatment (referring to conversation view), appearing neatly stacked as one conversation.”

I personally do not like the conversation view and I turned it off in my main Gmail Account. This is because the conversation view used to confuse me when trying to reply to the recent conversation, or when I wanted to reply to the current message, copy a new recipient, but at the same time not let the new recipient receive previous conversations. I know it isn’t difficult to achieve those, but it confused me nonetheless.

Gmail has also improved on search suggestions right from the inbox. When searching for old messages, typing a few words in the search box will pull down useful suggestions than before. “The new Gmail app for Android has better auto-complete, so you can find what you need even faster”, Google Announced.

Lastly there are cool other features with Gmail including “more responsive animations (like when you open and close a conversation), larger attachment previews to help you see what’s inside, and the ability to save to Drive with a single tap.”

Once I received the press alert of these cool features, I rushed to download the update only to find nothing. I hope by the end of the day my Play Store shall have the new update uploaded.

WhatsApp update

The most exciting news is that WhatsApp now features an in App call functionality. Pause, take a deep breath and relax. This is big news. To explain, let’s start by going back in time – back to early last year.

Around this time last year, I shared with you important tactics and tricks on how you could save Shs 11,000 on calls. Most of you liked the post (if you didn’t read it then click this link and see the calculations) but one year down the line no one seemed to have taken the post seriously since I haven’t seen anyone making calls as suggested in the article. The article recommended that instead of using the normal cellular network to make calls, it is better to make calls via VoIP Apps e.g. Viber or Skype. Why haven’t people gone to VoIP to make calls and save over Shs 10K each month? We discuss that in Page 2.


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