*Updated* Whatsapp not free for life as we first thought

By James Richardson on 13 Jan 2013 02:00 pm EST

We posted earlier about Whatsapp being updated to version 2.9.571 which came with free lifetime use for BlackBerry users. It seems that an error occurred with the update and the free lifetime usage part was a mistake. Whatsapp have since corrected the glitch and have now released version 2.9.653. Shame, but that's just the way it is.  

We are still not 100% sure if we will see Whatsapp supported on BlackBerry 10 but as we pointed out recently RIM have spoken to the developers regarding this, so fingers crossed. In my opinion I still find the app the best way to communicate with my friends using Android, iPhones, Windows Phones and Symbian. Either way, we shouldn't have too long to wait to find out.

New features in the update include:

• New emoticons
• Stability & performance update

More information/Download Whatsapp for BlackBerry Smartphones

Reader comments

*Updated* Whatsapp not free for life as we first thought


BBM on BB10 forced the issue. Now that BlackBerry is getting new solid rocket boosters for a friggin' BIG launch on Jan 30, they need to make people happy. I like the idea of a common messaging platform across mobile devices, so they do have a niche. I'd also like to see Skype be that common app. Microsoft? You're in?

Are you serious?? Not having that one application is going to over-ride all the other huge benefits of BB10? I can't see where not having Skype would affect me in the least. I don't even use that on my laptop.

Didn't come back for so long since switching to android. Was genuinely hoping to see something big from BB10, but yes, 1 app is enough to make the difference, for me that would be whatsapp.

I spend at least 8 months every year in Eastern Asia. Whatsapp is the de facto messaging system, you simply can't survive without it. At least two of my clients this year relied almost only on whatsapp for our communications, not just for things that we can do with sms, but immediate communication with images/sound recordings. If I have to live without whatsapp, it wouldn't have been possible to actually conduct business with them.

I know the same thing applies to some parts of Europe too.

BB has essentially vanished in Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and most of China. So not having whatsapp means they will never be able to enter these markets again as no one would want a phone that can't do any basic immediate text communication with others.

No whatsapp, no hope.
RIM better negotiate something quick.

No whatsapp or skype has nothing to do with bb10's success. It's those apps and others RIM has NO responsibility for or any control over for that matter.

Yeah but it doesnt mean that skype is coming to BB10. Integration with skype is a selling point for windows phone, I think they wont give it to BB10 in any case I doubt microsoft will release an app that fast.

would love to see something like this. i think there could be a solution for blackberry to integrate other messaging services to their bbm system. this would also be a huge sales pitch for the whole platform.

BerryReview is reporting that this is an error. The same Service Model remains -- free for first year.

Good yes. However, I just downloaded the latest version and it still says it's a pay app??? I'm running ver 2.9.653. Any suggestions??

Nah, doubt if RIM would pay them, unless they submitted their BB10 app before the $10,000 guaranteed deadline :)

It's not ridiculous when a few hundred of your contacts are spread around the world and they all use WhatsApp.

Hey you BlackBerry zombies out there:

Go to PortToBlackBerry10.com and tweet away to get the apps you want and need on BlackBerry 10.

There are a lot of good apps coming, but we need to make sure that all our favourite apps will be there ready for us to enjoy in February.

Tweet for your favourite app or register your own favourite app vendors if your favourites aren't in the list.

We have one month remaining, and some folks can port apps with a few days of effort, depending on the app, of course!

Do your part. I'll do mine too.

Whatsapp is even wanted more than google maps or netflix.
I am an android user, but i am considering returning to blackberry since the platform / phones seems interesting and in Venezuela over 70% of smartphone users are on BB.

However, if whatsapp isn't ported to BB10, i may just stay on Android. It's that important. I read that you can download a BAR file which supposedly works on the playbook, but i don't know if this is stable enough or if it will work on BB10.

You dou realize if Whatsapp is not on BB10 that'll be the end for BB? At least for me, it will be. I mean, the good old days where BBM was the IM champion are long gone and we are the few stubborn BBusers who still believe in this company but if BB10 is not Whatsapp friendly, unfortunately they'll lose more and more customers

They won't lose any customers just because some developer chose NOT to make it for blackberry 10.

Do realize that a damn app has nothing to do with a companies success or failure.

For me AppWorld is showing version 2.8.7345 which would explain the paid portion still being there.

Try resetting the AppWorld cache
Pre v3.0 - ALT + RST

For me it still shows the older version after reset.

The over the air download shows as version 2.9.653 and has a message stating that it is .99/year on the download page. At least that's how it shows in Canada.

Another way to force an App World cache reset:

Start App World, type "34(" without the quotes, of course. If your device is not a qwerty, you will need to go to "My World" and select "Show Keyboard" from the menu. Then type "34(". App World will close if you've done it right. Next time, App World will take a bit of time to re-populate the cache.

Is anyone else who download the program, is your phone stuck in a reboot loop?
I have a 9800 torch.

Same thing happened for me, had to reboot 3 times and wasted around 35-40 minutes waiting :/

9900 bold/

I used the OTA link on WhatsApp's site. Despite it still saying its paid, after downloading and rebooting my WhatsApp Payment Info section now says:

Account Status: Free trial
Expiration: Lifetime service


its only gone free on the old bb's as people leaving old bb's for either new iphones and the rest who are on bb will end up leaving n going to bb 10. so in a year or 2.. all old bb's gonna become a piece of the old world.

Nice move Whatsapp. Nice to see cross platform apps going free. They should get a part of my bill cost. This way seems fair. But I am still in love with BBM.

I updated vis ota as well and mine says expiry 04/13. The version is 2.9.653 not 2.9.571 as posted above. Updating via ota also caused Whatsapp to be uninstalled on my 9900 according to appworld even though the icon is showing on my homescreen. Weird.

I am new to social media stuff ... does this mean that I can text every one on my BB for free and avoid Bell extra charges for texts ? Please advise Thanks

I was reading that Whatsapp was huge in South Africa and Nigeria .. two key BB markets hence we will need Whatsapp on BB10 for sure in 2013.

Sounds like BB and Whatsup struck a deal...make current BB7 users happy, and I would bet $ they are making an App for BB10. Just a guess, but makes sense.

Who needs whatsapp?

If you don't have a BB, why in the world would I want to be your friend?
I have friends on CrackBerry.

Facebook chat works! 1 billion people have Facebook. BlackBerry fans would like to give them some lovin' but instead they choose to make us pay.

I deactivated my facebook account. Got boring, and weird. Few of my friend have aswell.

If whatsapp starts charging money I doubt my non-bb friends will stick around. And I hate texting, so unreliable.

I'm still hoping for cross-platform BBM

The title says '*Updated* Whatsapp not free for life as we first thought'.
Why do some of you guys complains about the expiry date on your new updated whatsapp...
And this brings me to my question.
If we DID NOT update to the latest version, do we still be on the 'free for life' version?

Fret not. There's plenty of whatsapp replacment such as this, http://wechatapp.com/mobile/en/ which is my favourite. So far blackberry version is still way far from android and Iphone counterparts, but we could see the future that hopefully wechat will upgrade to BB10 with full functions like android n iphone functionality.

Oh well, don't use the internet then. Don't just see the weak part of the app but the whole. Censoring is no good but not to be too afraid of that. No one will care about your other private info unless you are those unwelcome people that hope and try to make the country run into chaos.

Okay, so they released a new version of it immediately to fix the glitch, but I installed it for the first time when I read the article a few hours back. I looked under the stats and it still says Free Trial, Lifetime Access. So I should just not upgrade right?

Get BBM and if your friends don't have a BlackBerry, convince them to get on the BlackBerry train.
We have Kevin as our leader. The coolest of the bunch. Who do they have?
Get my point !

Well for the past two years, i haven't had to pay......so perhaps the warning remains but you still can use without paying?

Hey whatscrappy you can never be as good as bbm. I check every so often and it's still just another wanna be bbm. I need my R and D in my life.!!!! !

If security is not importin to you. whatsapp works for lots of people on lots of platforms. Now if what you send cant fall into the wrong hands example cops,cia,fbi,dea,Rcmp,kgb lol etc............ there is only bbm. you dont run bbm you dont do business with me or my associates. Any one in the know knows this. There is a certain amount of comfort that comes with owning the incyption keys to my device's. If you understand , you understand and if you dont you wont and if you want to you cant ......because my encryption is set to strong and my bb locks after 30 lol. love my bb os4os5os6os7os10 it's the same love it just keeps getting better.

KIK is really good as well, works good for me anyway on a 9810. IDK why RIM hasn't approved this app, says so on the home page kik.com. I like it cause its on all major platforms, hope to see it on BB10, will be sad without it.

International contacts then who cares about these stupid messenger apps. Just text. Don't people have unlimited texting anyway???

Something I find a bit odd in this article " the best way to communicate with my friends using Android, iPhones, Windows Phones and Symbian".

Pfff. The BEST way to communicate with friends (period) regardless of their smartphone of choice is:

IM type apps.

Common BlackBerry's are phones and email devices first and foremost for communications! Yes Emails came first on BB, then calls, then BBM but to be honest WhatsApp offers NO benefits over BBM other than it being cross platform. Like Tiger-whatever its called, Whats'App is a glorified MMS client (yes I use it on iOS and have on BB before for the past year).

When services drop - and they do from time to time and they will from time to time: Calls, SMS/MMS will 99.5% of the time reach your friend more than an app. Common now they're your friends after all - communication should be more personal!

How do you "accidentally" write in (free lifetime membership) I keep trying to figure that out but remain stumped.

Why have a cross platform app on you BB when you can add any contact to BBM and communicate with them? I have added all my non-bbm contacts to BBM and it works fine. Basically the only thing I notice is that I don't get the "D" and the "R" notification when I send a message.

I am anti whatsapp as well. their security flaws noted on fileperm.org reveals them all.

for cross platform app msging, I use LINE. I need a chat app that can do group chat as well and LINE seems work well as it's very popular in North Asia (KR, JP, CN, HK) and some part of SE Asia.

what do you guys think of LINE? any other cross platform chat app that can do group chat? Touch (ping chat) sucks, i used it before, lag all the time, never really like it.

There are plenty of cross platform apps other than WhatsApp. Just do the research if you can't stand it. Lol

Also note: BBM IS NOT AND WILL NOT BE CROSS PLATFORM. Just clearing that up.

I guess someone should head over to http://www.wazapp.im, grep the source and compile the Opensource Whatsapp client for the Nokia N9 (written in Qt) for BB OS 10. Since Qt is quite portable, porting to OS 10 shouldn't be to much an effort and it would be amazing to have this client ready on OS 10 launch!!