Web Buzz: WhatsApp Messenger phone app lets you instant message anywhere

Special to the Los Angeles Times

This money-saving app allows you to instant message with your friends from anywhere that you have an Internet connection.

Name: WhatsApp Messenger

Available for: Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia phones

What it does: Allows you to send text, audio, video and photos to any friends who also have WhatsApp on their phone. Why not just send them a text from your phone? Because if you are in different countries, it could cost you an arm and a leg. With WhatsApp, you pay only for the cost of the app. It uses the same Internet data plan that you use for email and Web browsing.

Cost: 99 cents

What's hot: Did you make a last-minute trip to New York City and now suddenly need a restaurant recommendation? Use the "Broadcast Message" feature, which allows you to send a message to your full WhatsApp contact list. Are you traveling with family members who have split up for the day? Decide where you'll meet for dinner with the group chat button. Perhaps the handiest feature: Your messages are saved if you go offline and will be waiting for you when you turn on the app.

What's not: Be careful using the "call" button. The FAQs on the app say, "Mobile carrier charges apply for voice calls made from WhatsApp."

Worth it: Yes, even at triple the price.

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