How to show utter contempt for your users

I was never a regular user of Whatsapp, the mobile messaging app recently purchased by Facebook for gazillions of dollors, but now I’m never touching the thing again.


Well, after a recent update, every single time I open the app, I am greeted with this:

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

It’s an annoying pop up thing telling me to turn on notifications for Whatsapp.

Only, I don’t want to. I’ve never had them on, and I don’t want them on now.

I cannot, however, turn off this nagging screen. It appears every time. It would appear the only way to get rid of it would be to switch on those damn notifications.

Well, that’s not happening. I won’t be bullied by software, for goodness’ sake!

So those few people i converse with on Whatsapp I will start to chat to on something else, and Whatsapp is gone from my phone.

If you’re looking for a replacement, Glassboard is a great bet. Not that well known and not overly polished, but a nice indie solution.

The lesson here is to let your customers use your system the way they want to, not the way you want them to – else they might just go elsewhere.

Update: the app store on my phone tells me there is a new version of WhatsApp is ready to download. And guess what?


At least they are listening.

Phones, phones, phones

To probably misquote Stephen Fry: “Was there ever a smartphone that I didn’t buy?”

As I posted a little while ago, I’m pretty happy with the Nexus One. Android is a nice, feature rich, open operating system, and the hardware isn’t bad. However, the one major drawback is the keyboard, which is at times incredibly frustrating.

As well as the Nexus One, at home I have an iPhone 3gs and a Blackberry Bold 9700. Each has its ups and downs, and I thought it might be worthwhile writing them up here. It would be great to hear what others think in the comments, too!

Google/HTC Nexus One

Nexus One


  • Integrates beautifully with both Google and third party services
  • Email application is a delight
  • Decent browser
  • Plugs straight into a computer to manage files etc – no messing about with iTunes or other software


  • Touchscreen not always brilliant, and the keyboard can be appalling at times
  • Not as many high quality apps as the iPhone
  • Hardly any games

Apple iPhone 3gs


  • Lovely user experience
  • Great on screen keyboard
  • Mail application is OK
  • Web browser is excellent
  • Lots of great apps


  • Lack of sharing options – eg with photos etc
  • Reliance on iTunes
  • Not great as a phone

Blackberry Bold 9700


  • Physical keyboard is great
  • Small and light
  • Phone is very reliable


  • Mail application is surprisingly rubbish
  • Doesn’t really work at all well with Gmail (whether consumer or enterprise editions)
  • Terrible web browser
  • Few apps

So there we are. The iPhone is probably overall the best, but because of my reliance on Google, I’ll stick with the Nexus One for now.

Perhaps the way forward would be an Android phone with a physical Blackberry-like keyboard?