Say hello to OpenWhatsapp - the WhatsApp alternative

By DJ Reyes on 8 Mar 2013 11:59 am EST

We already know that the much awaited WhatsApp is making its way to BlackBerry 10 this March. However, an alternative has come in to join the party in the form of OpenWhatsapp. I've been using it for just under an hour and it's pretty smooth. Perhaps it's just me but I also don't seem to see all the contacts I know who should have WhatsApp. Otherwise, it is certainly an app that will do me fine until the official WhatsApp is made available.

If anyone has ever tried to sideload the Android version of WhatsApp will know that while you can converse, it is very limited and you need to wait for the other party to contact you first as there is no way to access your contacts. With OpenWhatsapp, it has been built natively for BlackBerry 10, complete with a functioning Active Frame that tells you when you have a message waiting for you. You also get a Hub notification but the app needs to be running in order for you to get them. And like I said, you can access your Contacts list too in much the same way you would with the WhatsApp version. There is also the ability to share media too.

If you can't wait for WhatsApp and you need your WhatsApp fix, I recommend giving OpenWhatsapp a go. You'll need to sideload it though. If you don't know how to sideload, we have plenty of tutorials to help you do that, whether you have a Windows machine or a Mac.

For more information and to download OpenWhatsapp for BlackBerry 10



You have to unlink your Facebook from your contacts. Just turn it off in the contacts app and they will be read in OpenWhatsApp.

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DJ Reyes

Is that in response to being able to see all my WhatsApp contacts?

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Yes, it's a problem with BB10 software, and not with OpenWhatsapp. Some people report this has been fixed in the most recent BB10 software update, but I'm still not sure though.

DJ Reyes

Ok, thanks. Good to know. 


DJ, I had no idea you're a girl until now. So cool


Hi, This is working perfect for me... i think we shouldn't have wasted much time on the andriod app...
Tan Q


Ok dear thanks for the info I will try this now...

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In switched off the fb contacts but it's the same I can't see what's App contacts...

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all you need to do is to unlink your contacts, edit the ones which you can't see on your openwhatsapp by putting the phone number & the name and on your openwhatsapp, just tap the sync button. it will work.


I don't know about that...I have contacts not linked to FB or anything else and they aren't being picked up. I have noticed, though, that only contacts that are being saved to my SIM are being picked up by OpenWhatsapp. To test this I saved a new contact to my SIM and it was picked up in OpenWhatsapp contacts immediately.

**edit** scratch that, i think my issue has to do with Work vs Personal contacts


Just note the app must be left open as an active frame to get notifications. When the app is closed you won't get any message notifications.

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ramin mayar

just wanna know how safe is it, since it being open and all


Whatsapp isn't all that "safe" to begin with so .. I don't see the issue with using this.


Yea , I downloaded the OpenWhatsApp yesterday, on initial set up I was able to sync my contacts on my Z10, but now I can only see 2 contacts, and can't re sync at all. I don't have Facebook on my phone so it's not that! It is a beta version so there's bound to be hic-ups. I have emailed Tarek today so hoping there will be a fix.


The same problem exists for twitter, bbm..etc Basically any contacts with linked services, and not just facebook.


just sideloaded it and wow what a difference so much better than the android port i was using


And your contacts work. You don't have to wait for the person to message you.


nothing is better than the fact right above i get full acces to conacts i can set my profile status messages and start new chats and not have to care if one gets ended.


Amazing app just used it for minutes and I'm already loving it

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Deshone Adomako

What of instagram

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Does it work on playbook?


No. It errors out after sideloading, claiming that it is looking for BlackBerry 10. I'm starting to feel like I'm in limbo with my PlayBook. Lots of new BB10 apps coming out, and not doing me any good.


You forgot to mention this app doesn't auto link URLs to open in the browser, you have to manually copy and switch and paste. Also it doesn't handle emoticons, turns them into Chinese characters.


Don't be picky. We got an unofficial BB10 app :).

Louis Belshaw

Good but I'm still probably going to wait for WhatsApp, not long to go now!

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What about notification.. I think their is no notification for new messages.... for me I can't know if I have new msg until I open the app

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You must leave the app open. No big deal :).


yes big deal, leaving the app open consumes more battery


its still an early release of the app. it runs well and is a great effort for FREE.

so much nitpicking


Any contacts that are linked with other services won't show on the owhatsapp

So the simple trick was to add another contact with just the phone number
And voila the contact appears in owhatsapp

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I'll try.... thanks ;)

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Para poder acceder a los contactos en el whatsapp de sideload hay que instalar go contacts o alguna otra app de contactos y ya de ahi se sincronizan los contactos


Just downloaded. Works great. Keep the good work. Z10 is number 1


Much better than the Android port. Thank you.


Works perfectly ! Thanks a lot for the tip


stuck on download page
ownloading v0.9.2.5 for Blackberry Z10
If download does not start, click here, or right click and save-as.
For a more detailed installation guide, please click here

but not getting any file lol



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Good for now. Until official one comes out anyways. My only problem with it, I that it has to be running as an active frame to receive Instant messages

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it works ;)
but it does t have emoticons is it? or am i the only one who is experiencing this?


It's a common problem. Due to a limitation in the BB10 OS there's no emoji support atm

Fernando Almeida

Work Great on BB 9780. Now i am waiting for the BB Navigator :-)


This thing is freaking brilliant! Works very well. And looks beautiful since its a cascades app.

Thanks Guys. I can now sell off my iPhone.

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The chat scrolling when you send a message is even smoother than BBM. That will probably be fixed in a future version of BBM Though. But it's nice to see developers innovating.

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I rebooted my z10 once and all the linked contacts showed up. Didnt have to unlink them!

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The whole concept of open whatsapp hurts my tiny brain......i'll wait the extra week for the real deal holyfield....Woooo


Works perfectly fine for me so far. I see all my contacts right after I installed it.

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Strange, Optimus 15, since even the developer's page says:
Why are some of my contacts not visible?
This is a temporary problem with BB10 where contacts linked with services such as facebook, bbm..etc, cannot be fetched by applications. This should be fixed in the upcoming Blackberry 10 software update. Meanwhile, to force a contact to show up in OpenWhatsapp, you will have to unlink services attached to this contact


Thanks eldricho :)

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R Field

Still waiting on an email and download from like two days ago? Developer on vacation?

CB10- z10

R Field

Never mind ignore my last seems like he added the. Bar file

CB10- z10


Openwhatsapp rocks on my z10 yeah

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This is temp solution, waiting from whatsapp inc,.

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Doesn't work for Israel
There are two + before the country code
So it crashes

Can anyone plz fix this tiny bug :(

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Yossi Chocron

same problem for me, can anyone fix this stupid bug?


Works great only no emoticons

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I've just loaded open whatsapp however I am not receiving the sms code. Any ideas why?

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My problem was I had the android port. Deleted it and then installed this and it seemed the port didn't un install properly and then conflicted. I guess there can only be one. So I had to keep re verifying it

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Can't seem to download to my Z10 :-(

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it has to be kept open as an active frame to receive notifications?


Updated to 0.9.4. Can see all my contacts even though they are linked to Facebook. I'm actually thinking of keeping this over the native version if the native version is the same as ios or android, which I am assuming it will be.


Why does it say invalid bar file