All pumped up to be the first owners of the spanking new BlackBerry Z10 smartphone? Or is the lack of fundamental apps such as Instagram or WhatsApp holding you back from going to a Maxis store today to get your hands on BlackBerry’s game-changing device?
Well, as some have found out, the Instagram app can be sideloaded onto BB10. (Actually, most Android apps can, including WhatsApp). However, the experience, as those who have sideloaded Instagram can attest, can be rather unsatisfactory. While you can wait for an official version of Instagram and WhatsApp to eventually arrive on the new platform (we are hearing that they are indeed coming), here’s a WhatsApp app that you could try out today.
Article continues after the break.
OpenWhatsApp is a community project founded by the same developer who developed Wazapp, the unofficial WhatsApp client for MeeGo-Harmattan. Back in 2011, WhatsApp’s developers refused to develop a native app for WhatsApp for the Nokia N9, citing a lack of user base. As a result, developer Tarek Galal, along with a few other MeeGo community developers, built a native WhatsApp client for the N9 called Wazapp – where the response was overwhelmingly positive for the app’s UI integration and, well, allowing N9 users to communicate via WhatsApp. Over the next few months, Galal managed to compile an open-sourced WhatsApp core that can be used by anyone.
As we also know, BB10’s apps are built on Qt, which is also the framework used on MeeGo. As a result, some developers have worked with Galal to create a native WhatsApp client for BB10, and named the project OpenWhatsApp. Its interface, like on MeeGo, sticks to the platform’s UI, rather than the generic WhatsApp UI seen in Android and iOS – making the app look a lot more polished. In addition, the project has added new features on top of WhatsApp’s original features, such as the ability to appear offline.
Currently, the app is still in the process of being approved and pushed to BlackBerry World. However, an updated post on the OpenWhatsApp site has announced that the app can now be sideloaded to your BB10 device, with step-by-steps guide here.
Ultimately, the project’s main aim is not to go in direct competition with (and violation of) WhatsApp’s developers, but rather for the project to be officially recognized, approved and supported by WhatsApp. For more information about OpenWhatsApp, check out their website here.