The other day we received a rather interesting notification from one of our users about a service called WhatsApp Plus. While it sounds like a premium version of the original and hugely popular WhatsApp messaging service, after digging around a bit we have found that the circumstances surrounding this app are a bit suspicious.
What does WhatsApp Plus look like?
Firstly, the app seems to be a blatant copy of the original WhatsApp. The only difference being the WhatsApp icon which is now blue in this case. This is a great way for getting people to think that WhatsApp Plus is a variant of the original WhatsApp. Whether this infringes any copyrights or not is unknown.
Who provides WhatsApp Plus and where can it be found?
WhatsApp Plus is not available on the authentic Google Play store and we don’t believe it will be available there anytime soon either. As per our information, the only place it can be found as of now is over the web on its own dedicated website. It may be available over some third-party app repositories, but downloading any apps from such sources is not recommended.
Apparently, this app was developed by a Spanish developer known as Rafalete in 2012. WhatsApp Plus is free to install and it seems to carry the same user license as WhatsApp as well.
Correction: As has been brought to our notice, the name of the developer of WhatsApp is Rafalanse. We had incorrectly believed his name was Rafalete.
How is WhatsApp Plus different from WhatsApp?
Now let’s see the differences between these two apps and why someone would be inclined to install WhatsApp Plus in the first place. Users of this app can enjoy some unique visual themes which are not available for the regular WhatsApp version. Apparently, there are over 700 different themes and skins that can be installed for customization. Moreover, there are tons of new smileys and emoticons available for WhatsApp Plus users as well.
Additionally, WhatsApp Plus users can also choose to hide their ‘last seen’ status so that people do not come to know when they were last active on WhatsApp. However, on WhatsApp Plus, this is a paid feature. Android users of the original WhatsApp will be aware that this feature is now available to them for free.
Apart from this, WhatsApp Plus also allows users to send heavier files. This file sharing limit can be stretched to 50MB for these users. The original WhatsApp only allows 2MB of files to be shared at a time. Several other features are also available to WhatsApp Plus users such as changing the chat images, contacts’ images, popup notifications, widget appearance and color of the launcher icon.
However, and this can be a deal breaker for most users, if you are installing WhatsApp Plus then you need to mandatorily uninstall the original WhatsApp from your device. This is a rather strange move and arouses our suspicions even further.
Correction: The file size limit in WhatsApp is 16 MB. We had incorrectly stated this limit as 2 MB.
So should you install WhatsApp Plus or not?
Our recommendation would be to not install WhatsApp Plus on your phone. Its exact origins are unknown and it is also unknown if this app is legal in the first place. Unless you are a highly technical user who roots his Android to make it highly unique, we suggest you stay away from WhatsApp Plus and stick to the original WhatsApp like 500 million other people. Additionally, to avoid accidental installation of fake Android apps that can potentially steal data, use an effective antivirus solution like Quick Heal Total Security.