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All About the Messenger War: WhatsApp Vs iMessage

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Ariz Suban
Ariz Suban May 18, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen! Today we have an exciting match lined up in front of us. From the heavy-knitted Apple ecosystem, we have the fun-packed, stylish, and elegant iMessage. Facing it will be the constant heartthrob, designed to work on even the most basic of phones, and truly a messenger of the masses, the WhatsApp messenger! Our two commentators, Josh and Rudd, will battle it out for one messenger each. Let the WhatsApp vs iMessage match begin!

*Bell rings. Over to the commentators*

The availability of WhatsApp

Rudd: Well, Josh, as much as I’d like to root for my favourite iMessage, the fact that WhatsApp is available cross-platform makes the accessibility and connection with anyone, irrespective of the phone they have, a whole lot easier. If you look at the WhatsApp vs iMessage number of users, WhatsApp definitely wins out in the amount of users. And while iMessage can be pretty handy, fun, and useful within its own ecosystem, the exclusivity means that all your contacts need to be iOS users to share the same fun with you.

Josh: Exactly, Rudd. WhatsApp is available on many platforms, including Android, iOS, Symbian, and even Windows. Plus, there’s also an option of accessing your WhatsApp via a web browser. You don’t need to be from a specific ecosystem to connect via WhatsApp and that, I think, is pretty important today.

iMessage is unconstrained!

Rudd: Moving on, surely we’ll need to mention one of the biggest advantages iMessage has in the WhatsApp vs iMessage debate, Josh. iMessage can be accessed from any device as long as you have your Apple credentials. All you need is to get iMessage for your device, log in using the same ID, and you’ll be able to continue your incomplete conversations from any nearby device. Ain’t that pretty handy?

Josh: Yes, definitely. That’s one of the few things that WhatsApp lacks right now, Rudd. While you can access your iMessage account from any device as per your convenience, WhatsApp seems to be pretty constrained with the whole one-number-one-device thing. In order to access your WhatsApp account from another device, you have to install and transfer the data before using it. Hate to say this, but it seems kinda tedious when compared to iMessages.

iMessage can SMS?

Rudd: Yes, it can! This might sound a bit far-fetched because almost everyone has 24X7 data enabled in their devices, but there have been days when I’d exhausted the mobile data and had to stop messaging because WhatsApp won’t allow a normal text.

Josh: Well, that’s too subjective, I think, Rudd. But, yes, iMessage can turn to Short Messaging Service (SMS) when there’s no data connectivity. Although we don’t guarantee that people would like the transition.

WhatsApp vs iMessage image quality

Rudd: Well, Josh. We all know how we feel about the quality of photos shared on WhatsApp, don’t we? However HD the images might be, they always end up with a substantially decreased quality when sent through WhatsApp. iMessage, on the other hand, can provide you with the same authentic quality and you won’t have to share the image as a document there. What do you say to that?

Josh: I won’t deny that, Rudd. The image quality does get reduced while sharing through WhatsApp. But it does save time and data. Doesn’t it? I think it can be pretty handy during emergencies.

Rudd: Well… yes. Still, that’s a subjective point.

Who’s got better security?

Josh: Well, there’s end-to-end encryption in both.

Rudd: Yes.

Josh: And they both take special care not to let snoopers in.

Rudd: Yes.

Josh: So that’s a tie, then?

Rudd: Well, if you don’t consider WhatsApp’s parent Facebook’s recently questionable integrity regarding its privacy policies, then… Yeah, sure, it’s a tie.

The older archives of WhatsApp

Rudd: Well, this might be my personal opinion, but I think WhatsApp gives more liberty when it backs up all conversations to iCloud, freeing up your phone space.

Josh: Of course, Rudd. And when you get a phone with more storage, you can back all of it up from your iCloud account. There’s an option of saving your iMessage conversations, too. For 30 days, a year, or forever.

Should we talk about the broadcast list?

Rudd: Well, given how we’ve already talked about how people need to be in the same ecosystem to receive or send iMessages, it’s probably evident about the broadcast list too.

Josh, smirking: Did you know you could send a broadcast message to almost 256 contacts on WhatsApp?

Rudd: Yeah, yeah. Do you even know what memojis are?

Memojis are ♥︎

Rudd: I’ll tell you what memojis are. Imagine cute little faces that you can send to the other person, telling exactly what mood you’re in right now. Now imagine these emojis are an avatar of your own face! Isn’t that cool? Surely you might have something like that for WhatsApp, hm, Josh? And should we talk about animojis?

Josh: I know what animojis are. Let’s move on.

iMessage more than just a messenger?

Josh: All things considered, I think ultimately iMessage will follow whatever WhatsApp does. You have to admit, some features like in-group tagging (that has also been recently copied by iMessage) are so awesome that you’re bound to think that this is the best version of a messaging app.

Rudd: But I’d say you’re looking at just half of the picture, Josh. Sure, iMessage has introduced some of WhatsApp’s features in itself. But that’s just because those were essential for messaging. You have to know that while WhatsApp is great as a messaging app, iMessage is not just a messenger. It’s your complete fun zone. It has effects, stickers, and in-app gaming. You can ask users to share their screen and control their Macs remotely via iMessage. There’s also calligraphy, handwriting, and not to forget my personal favourite: the Bubble Slam effect!

*Bell rings. Over to the narrator*

Well, well, that was definitely beginning to heat up. Phew! But all things considered, the Messenger War is left as an approximate tie, with some features clearly emerging as winners while some being ruled out as ‘too subjective’. For me, WhatsApp ever so slightly has the edge. Because, no matter the messenger, the other person needs to be available on the same platform for it to work. After all, it isn’t web browsing.

Anyway, it’s over to you now. Which messenger wins in your opinion?

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