When comparing WhatsApp vs Gmail, the Slant community recommends Gmail for most people. In the question“What are the best Material Design apps?” Gmail is ranked 10th while WhatsApp is ranked 26th. The most important reason people chose Gmail is:
Gmail brings much of the functionality and power of Google's search engine to the app's search. You can use operators such as *label:*, *is:*, *OR*, *has:* among others, define date ranges, limit search to specific groups and so on. And, you can do it all amazingly fast. The search will also try to predict what you're trying to search for before you've even finished your query and offer up those results.
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Pro Straightforward interface
The interface is very simple, fast and easy to use. You can start using it as soon as the app has been downloaded - it does not require setting anything up or registering. You can communicate with anyone in your contacts list that also uses WhatsApp. Includes useful features like seeing when a contact is currently available or typing.
Pro Effortlessly builds your contacts by using your phone number as identification
WhatsApp will automatically find all of your contacts currently using Whatsapp and add them to your contacts. This makes it really easy to setup and given that it's the most popular messaging app it's likely that a lot of your contacts are already using it.
Pro Widely used
WhatsApp reported 800 million users in April, 2015. Your friends are most likely already using WhatsApp, so it's easy to get setup. Also it's the overall highest rated messaging app on the play store.
Pro Message mirroring on web app
WhatsApp can be used from the desktop via Chrome, Firefox and Opera browsers. Accessing it requires using the Android app to scan the QR code that's presented on web.whatsapp.com.
Pro One-on-one texts can be encrypted
WhatsApp has implemented end to end encryption for messages sent on it's service. Even WhatsApp has no way to read a users messages.
Pro Incredibly fast, advanced & predictive search
Gmail brings much of the functionality and power of Google's search engine to the app's search. You can use operators such as label:, is:, OR, has: among others, define date ranges, limit search to specific groups and so on. And, you can do it all amazingly fast. The search will also try to predict what you're trying to search for before you've even finished your query and offer up those results.
Pro Best support for Gmail features
Since both the Gmail Android app and Gmail itself is made by Google, the app supports all features Gmail offers (like labeling/starring) and gets new features implemented early - usually as soon as they are announced.
Pro Comes bundled with Android for free
Not only is the application free, it comes bundled with the Android OS by default so you don't even have to bother downloading it.
Pro Google Drive integration
The app allows inserting files from Drive straight to email or uploading attachments to Drive before sending them out. It will also notify if the person you're sending the file can open the file or if you should change the sharing settings for that file beforehand. Finally, you can choose which one of your Google accounts you want visible in the app.
Pro Google Calendar integration
Pro Tabs to automatically organize your e-mail
Gmail offers the ability to automatically organize your mail into specific categories:
Each of the categories can be disabled and you can move your mail around from category to category or set your own rules which sender should be put in which category.
Pro Threaded conversations
Pro Safely automatically displays images
The app does not require a confirmation to show images as Google now hosts the images on their own servers making it safe. You can still disable the automatic displaying of images in the settings if you wish.
Con Single device
You cannot use the same WhatsApp account on multiple devices (e.g. a tablet, a PC and a cellphone). The account is tied to the device with the specific cellphone number. Chat history is deleted when you sign in to a new account, unless you have created a backup.
Con Hard to migrate history cross platform
Migrating your chat history from Android to iOS or the other way around is not so simple. In some cases it requires a 3rd party app and in some the only way is to migrate specific chats one by one.
Con Shares meta data with Facebook
WhatsApp shares your messaging meta data with Facebook if you do not opt-out in the settings. If you use the same phone number for WhatsApp and Facebook, the profiles can easily be linked.
Con No cloud sync
Messages are not stored on WhatsApp server for privacy and security reasons.
Con Limitation on shareable file sizes
WhatsApp now allows users to share files of any type, but there is still a size limit.
Not open source.
Con Tied to carrier phone number
WhatsApp cannot be used by people without a smart phone with an active cell plan. If your phone is lost or damaged, or if your phone number changes, you cannot get messages sent by friends without them updating your phone number. You cannot send message to them until you are able to get SMS messages at your phone number.
Con Web interface uses message mirroring
To use your computer to send messages your phone must be on with a consistent data connection.
Con Sorting mail by Unread is unintuitive
Nearly every other mail app has a clear way to sort mail by Unread. In Gmail app you can do that only by typing “label:unread” in the search field.
Con Very limited HTML composing
Composing of HTML formatted mails is very limited. No inline images and only some basic text formatting options
Con No intrinsic p2p encryption option
Con Too heavy
It should be lightweight.