Windows Phone 8 users now have reason to be even happier with their devices. Cross-platform messaging application WhatsApp has received an update and is now actually quite useable on Windows Phone 8. The update brings along quite a few handy features Windows Phone users will be glad to find, considering how shaky the app has been on the platform in the past, and brings the application almost at par with its iOS and Android counterparts. Most importantly, the UI is now looking slightly better suited to Windows Phone.

For notifications and alerts, WhatsApp has finally adapted itself to the Metro UI design and has ditched the green, blob-like design that looked like a complete misfit on the home screen. Notifications will now appear on locked screens too.

The new update is bound to make a lot of Windows Phone 8 users happy

The new update is bound to make a lot of Windows Phone 8 users happy

We wonder why it took this long to bring this particular feature, but you can now hit “Enter” to send a message across. To activate this feature, you need to head to the Settings tab and change how your messages are sent.

The attachment screen has also had a facelift and you can now share screenshots from within the application.

Bringing the Windows Phone 8 version of WhatsApp on par with the Android and iOS versions has been somewhat of an agenda on the company’s plate. Windows Phone 8 users will now be able to send out broadcast messages, which is a relatively new feature even on the other two platforms.

Last but not the least, WhatsApp will finally let you back-up your messages manually. This is a pretty important feature this version of the app sorely lacked.

WhatsApp has had a sort of problematic relationship with the Windows Phone platform. After the app was pulled several times off the store and uploaded again, users and critics alike wrote off WhatsApp for Windows Phone.

Most notably, there were discrepancies even between the Windows 7 and Windows 8 versions of WhatsApp. The app was finally back up for Windows Phone 8 users in December, but was still not up to the mark. The app's developers have since started sending out a stream of regular updates with the aim of bringing it up to Android and iOS levels.

Earlier in December, WhatsApp had promised that the Windows Phone 8 version of the application was to be six times faster than the previous one. In reply to a query about the new update, the developers said that they were aiming to make the new app work faster.

The developers also mentioned that they were going to continue using the background audio API; however, they were looking forward to Microsoft devising a way of keeping the system running in the background, and for this to happen, they said Microsoft would need to lift its restrictions on third-party apps.

You can download WhatsApp for Windows Phone 8 here.

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