This uplift has been long overdue and finally our favourite cross-platform messaging service WhatsApp is looking spanking new and up to Ice Cream Sandwich levels. 

The app’s old, overused user interface was probably the only drawback of the app, making it look like a coincidental clone of its iOS version. Well, better late than never. WhatsApp has released the new version APK on its website, bringing the sleek looking interface that conforms to the Holo guidelines phones running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and up sport. 

The fonts look better than before and the over the top colour scheme is much more toned down with this update. Subtle colours for the app and the speech bubbles are what make this new UI look really exciting. Your smiley drawer has shifted homes and can be found to the left of your text line. Image previews too are now larger and the image window itself looks non-intrusive. 

We took the brilliant new UI for a spin

We took the brilliant new UI for a spin

Excited? Don’t rush to the Google Play Store to update your app already, you won’t find it there. WhatsApp has only released a free APK on its website for now in a very hush-hush manner. Looking at it, you’d probably not know that it sports a brand new look. You will have to go off market to try this one. The trial period lasts a year and you will be charged $0.99 post that. Do note that this new APK will not reset your trial period to zero but will pick up from where you left it. 

The APK works perfectly alright not just on phones running Ice Cream Sandwich and up, but also on devices running Gingerbread and FroYo. This spanking new interface is sure to endear the app to its loyal users even further.

WhatsApp’s popularity is undoubtedly far more than any other cross-platform messaging app. Early in January WhatsApp had even confirmed s newest record—on December 31, the service saw a record 18 billion messages being processed. The total number of messages comprised 7 billion inbound messages and 11 billion outbound messages. In a tweet on its official handle some time ago, Whatsapp stated, “On Dec 31st we had a new record day: 7B msgs inbound, 11B msgs outbound = 18 billion total messages processed in one day! Happy 2013!!!” 

It was only in August last year that WhatsApp managed to record 10 billion messages—comprising 6 billion outbound and 4 billion inbound messages. The company stated: “new daily record: 4B inbound, 6B outbound = 10B total messages a day! #freebsd #erlang“. WhatsApp attributed the difference in the number of outbound and inbound messages to group chats.

You can get hold of the APK way before it hits the Google Play Store right over here on WhatsApp's website.

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