I immediately downloaded the app from itunes (it’s free) on my iPhone 4. Almost immediately I realized the ease and convenience of directly adding Facebook friends to my contacts list. You also have the option of sharing IDs or scanning QR codes although I haven’t tried these features yet. I am actually a bit confused with the QR code feature, and I am yet to figure out its use.
Apart from these, there are some fun, cool social networking features, which are genius. There is the Shake feature. Basically, all you need to do is shake your phone, and if someone in the neighborhood is also shaking their phone, you can connect up and chat. Not a feature that I would use, but it’s there, and it may be something nice for someone who just wants to connect with people in the neighborhood. Make sure you have your location services ON for this feature to work.
Another cool feature is the Moments feature. It is basically like a photo album that you can easily create with the photos stored in the phone (and even Facebook). Privacy concerns are easily taken care of with different visibility options. You can then send it out to friends who can view the photos on their screens. It’s a pretty neat feature in my opinion. And one I will be using quite a bit.
The great part about WeChat is that it’s platform neutral. Most of my friends have Android phones, and it’s great that we can all chat using WeChat. I really love the threaded messaging style in my Apple phone, and am happy that WeChat replicates that same look in its app as well.
I did notice that the WeChat app hangs a bit on my iPhone 4. I don’t know if it is the same on all types of smartphones but on my phone, it runs slow and at times hangs. I went and checked to see that the size of the app is 32MB, which is almost double the size of the Imo Instant Messenger, which is another chat application that I have used in the past.
Where WeChat scores over Imo is the video calling and voice messaging features. Where Imo scores over WeChat is the Skype and Jabber support, and the clean interface.
So here’s my review in summary…
- Fun features like Shake and Moments
- Easy set up and configuration
- Good for social networking
- Excellent for video chat and voice messaging
- Bit buggy – hangs sometimes on iPhone
- User interface a little cluttered and not as intuitive as Imo
- Lack of Skype and Jabber support