Whese is an app that lets you share pictures with one or more friends. It is a free app for iOS 7 and up. It is optimized for iPhone 5. Whese joins a crowded market of such apps so the question becomes: What distinguishes this app from others like it? To help answer this question, I enlisted the aid of my fourteen year old son. He and his friends spend most of their time texting one another and sending pictures that way. So, he was skeptical at first. But after a few minutes, he began explaining the app to me in detail and declared that he liked it.
So, what is Whese? At its heart, Whese is a simple photography app. It provides no editing, no filters, and no way to share your photos anywhere except within Whese itself. The photos aren't even saved to your camera roll. In that, it acts a lot like Snapchat. Unlike Snapchat, the pictures do not have expiration dates.
One innovation (and the killer feature, according to my son) is that the feed only shows the most recent picture from a given person. So, if you have ten people in your feed, you won't see more than ten pictures in your feed. This keeps things uncluttered. If you want to see pictures you may have missed, or return to an old favorite, you can always tap on the profile of one of your friends where you can scroll up through their previous photographs. I would have preferred if the feed showed me what I missed since I last checked it but in the theme of simplicity, it makes a great deal of sense to do it this way.
Once you take a picture, you can add text to it. Like the camera, this is as simple as can be. You have no control over fonts, colors, positions, or anything else. And, while some may say that that is limiting, I think it is refreshing. There is no time spent tweaking anything or fussing over the perfect look. Instead, you snap, type, and share. There is a lot to be said for removing that overhead of filters and fonts. Once posted, your friends (or the general public if you do not mark your posts as private) can like your pictures and comment on them.
Getting started it fairly straightforward. You need to provide your cell number, enter a confirmation code that is texted to you, and then you are all set. You can search for friends by Whese username, Facebook, or by uploading your Contacts and letting it search for matches. You can also invite people via SMS or Whatsapp.
My only real gripe with the app are in the interface. Setup itself is accompanied by text to speech that I wasn't expecting and, frankly, scared the heck out of me. After you are all set, there are a series of gestures to go from your feed to your profile and to the camera and I still don't have it down. I appreciate the desire to make the photographs pretty much the only thing on screen, but a little bit of chrome to help me find my way around the app would have been nice.
Whether or not Whese can replace other photo sharing tools you may already use is something only you can decide. It's a free app so there's no reason not to give it a try (except, perhaps, the requirement to provide your mobile number when creating an account). My son and I liked it but not everyone we know has an iPhone (or iPod Touch). So, we'll see if we continue using it moving forward.