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Bkkandrew

Over The Top (OTT) Telephony / Data Services

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Posted (edited)

Inspired by making a note on the Facebook thread about WhatsApp, plus OTT services being far more widespread over here, I thought I would offer a review of the ones available:

 

WhatsApp 

I see this as having good functionality, including open directory, so you know someone’s phone number you get instant connection. Resource hungry as media sent to you is automatically copied to your device, but at least means you don’t lose media after a period.

Generally used as a business tool here. Group chats work very well and I have never experienced instability with the service.

Full message detail is given (delivered, read, typing, etc.,) plus call quality, voicemail and video excellent. Limited emojis, hence the adoption by business users.

The social media posting facility seems to

work, but people don’t really use it here from what I have seen.

 

Viber

Has all the functionality of WhatsApp, but massively goes for emojis and stickers. Therefore mainly used by teens. I have seen message trails that resemble a series of hieroglyphics, rather than a conversation.

The least stable of the OTTs, often slow and sometimes freezing. I guess this is down to over use of media embeds in messages.

Differs from WhatsApp in that it does not auto save media to your device, so you have to do it or it will be lost after a period of a few weeks. It will auto connect to any user just by saving the phone number.

 

Line

Operates exactly the same as Viber in every way, but more stable and fast. Only complaint is that it does not have a delivered status on sent messages, which is annoying when you are wondering if someone is online/offline.

Out of all the apps is the most heavily used as a Facebook replacement, by status updates, pics, comments, etc.

 

WeChat

The only one that will properly connect you to Chinese contacts. Complaints would be that it often doesn’t start or will shut down, it has no status indicator of sent messages at all and it is slanted towards the Chinese market.

It does not auto populate from a phone number and the counterparty HAS to accept you. Good for those that like privacy.

Positives are that it can also operate as a bank account, payment device and has a news feed that is geared towards online shopping. The best feature is one called “people nearby”, which assembles a list, with pics of all those opted in to be shown in order of proximity. You can filter sex also, which has led it to be the app to replace tinder, Craig’s List, etc.,

 

Telegram

Essentially the same as WhatsApp in every way. Adopted as the official OTT service for Cambodia Government.

 

Messenger 

Hopeless junk of a service and hope it goes broke soon.

 

Please add any more in and comment on above!

Edited by Bkkandrew
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Skype

I use this to have Italian lessons with the "man in Verona".

With video, it isn't too kind to his upstream connection which I suspect might just be ADSL so half a meg. We have between 35 and 50 meg upstream.

Occasionally it will stutter and glitch. But generally it works very well. Audio is fine.

Unless you have Windows 8 where it will download a newer version that isn't compatible if you have UAC turned on (to prevent my idiot brother installing crap on mum's PC) as it will then try to reinstall itself every time you open it and fail. It needs installing from a specific link to get around this.

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4 hours ago, DTMark said:

Skype

I use this to have Italian lessons with the "man in Verona".

With video, it isn't too kind to his upstream connection which I suspect might just be ADSL so half a meg. We have between 35 and 50 meg upstream.

Occasionally it will stutter and glitch. But generally it works very well. Audio is fine.

Unless you have Windows 8 where it will download a newer version that isn't compatible if you have UAC turned on (to prevent my idiot brother installing crap on mum's PC) as it will then try to reinstall itself every time you open it and fail. It needs installing from a specific link to get around this.

Thanks Mark. You know - I had literally forgotten about Skype!

Says it all...

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7 hours ago, Bkkandrew said:

Inspired by making a note on the Facebook thread about WhatsApp, plus OTT services being far more widespread over here, I thought I would offer a review of the ones available:

 

WhatsApp 

I see this as having good functionality, including open directory, so you know someone’s phone number you get instant connection. Resource hungry as media sent to you is automatically copied to your device, but at least means you don’t lose media after a period.

Generally used as a business tool here. Group chats work very well and I have never experienced instability with the service.

Full message detail is given (delivered, read, typing, etc.,) plus call quality, voicemail and video excellent. Limited emojis, hence the adoption by business users.

The social media posting facility seems to

work, but people don’t really use it here from what I have seen.

 

Since 2016 WhatsApp has boasted (up to you whether you truly believe it or not) full peer to peer encryption. Only you and the recipients are privy to what you send with the company unable to see any more detail of the content than the the rough size and the recipients. So as secure as anything computer based for sensitive commercial or personal information.

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19 minutes ago, Hail the Tripod said:

Since 2016 WhatsApp has boasted (up to you whether you truly believe it or not) full peer to peer encryption. Only you and the recipients are privy to what you send with the company unable to see any more detail of the content than the the rough size and the recipients. So as secure as anything computer based for sensitive commercial or personal information.

IIRC the back-ups are stored in plain text?

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Signal Messenger is a WhatsApp clone but without the bad bits. Note to OP you can configure WhatsApp not to auto download media so need not be "resource hungry". 

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