Tag Archives: Weixin

WeChat – It’s free and fun but seems full of bugs.

WeChat is now the most popular topic on Computers Made Simple. Check out the comments at the bottom of this post: Weixin/WeChat – Shake your way to new friends, and you’ll see what we mean. People all over the world are using this free and fun app to meet and greet other users.

Photo of WeChat
Have fun with it but don’t take it too seriously.

WeChat is not without its problems, however. If you look at the comments from our readers, you’d think that WeChat is more of a problem than a solution. That’s not the case but, on the other hand, the makers of this app have not responded to our repeated requests for their input into the bugs. On yet another hand, WeChat is totally free. Because of that, users really can’t complain too much.

App software is a relatively new phenomenon, one that doesn’t require much or any cash input from users. These apps are usually platforms for ads. Some of them, ones such as WeChat which attract younger users looking to meet users of the opposite sex, are wide open to misuse and abuse. Some of the bugs that crop up may be the result of hackers who have found a way to manipulate the software or its servers for their own gain.  Also, we suspect that some governments in the world would rather not have their citizens using such an app.

Because of all of this, we’re here to say, “Enjoy it for what it is. Don’t take it too seriously and, lastly, if WeChat is the only way someone can meet other people, maybe they should take a break.”

If you’re shelling out your hard earned money for something, you have a right to gripe when it doesn’t work. WeChat usually does what it says it will do and is our current choice for keeping in touch with friends from around the world. Why? Simply because it offers so much for so little, nothing as a matter of fact. Chatting, sharing photos and videos, voice messaging, searching for other users, video conferencing, voice chats, well, you get the picture. If it doesn’t work perfectly when we’re looking for other users, no big deal. When it does, it’s fun. When it doesn’t, we do something else.

Finally, we know that this kind of app is addicting. Angry Birds is addicting too but in a different way. WeChat has opened up the world by allowing its users to find, communicate and add friends from just about anywhere. On top of that, WeChat lets you do this in a very unique, fun way. In the same way that Angry Birds was addicting because it was new, WeChat is very similar but the addiction comes not from knocking over pig’s homes but from maybe meeting the right girl or guy who could possibly change your life. Let’s call it a digital single’s bar.

Questions about WeChat or any other topic are the lifeblood of Computers Made Simple. We can’t always help but we do our best.

Thanks for reading!

Explore the World with WeChat

Photo of Shake  1
7158 KM away.

We’ve been using QQ for many years. QQ is similar to MSN or Yahoo but it’s mainly used in China. Tencent, the company that created QQ, has released WeChat (Weixin in China). WeChat is a fully tricked-out chat app that is taking the world by storm. We’ve put together some thoughts on the international flavor of WeChat.

Photo of Shake  2
A good reason to communicate with people from around the world, right?

1. Maybe we’re a bit sensitive, but we’ve noticed a vague trend of dissatisfaction among some WeChat users when they get mainly Chinese contacts on Shake or Look Around. We’re concerned because we’ve got hundreds of friends in China and, from what we’ve discovered, they’re pretty much like us. China has about four times the population of the United States, about forty times the population of Canada, so it stands to reason that there are more Chinese at the end of a Shake ‘shake’ than anyone else. Add to that the fact that WeChat originated in China and that the Chinese are well known to be early-adopters of new tech, well, you get the point.

Photo of Shake  3
8202 KM Away.

2. For many years, the U.S. seemed to be on the cutting edge of everything. That’s changed but the myth persists. Tencent named the international version of Weixin ‘WeChat’ so, naturally, most American users assume it’s an American product. Is that the reason for the surprise and seeming disappointment when social contacts appear who are half-way around the world? We think so. In this particular case, the rest of the world is way behind Tencent because the rest of the world seems to have forgotten ‘chat’. We never seen anything spread out around the world in quite the same way as WeChat.


Photo of Shake  4
Sao Paolo, Brazil.

3. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a fair amount of sabre-rattling going on now. 9/11 was devastating, to say the least, but the by-product of that fateful day was the ever-increasing xenophobia we see in the world now. If someone looks ‘different’, then they are considered a threat. We’ve been down that path before, history is full of these examples. But, if you let it, WeChat will open up your world and show you that people are the same all over the world. Will WeChat finally bring world peace? Hey, it might just help, right?

4. English is the constant in all of this. While WeChat supports other languages, the vast number of users, yes, even the Chinese, will default to English when necessary. If you already speak and write English, you’re miles ahead of many other WeChat users but you are also valuable to those same users, simply because they want to learn English. Live a little, take a chance and help them out. If you’re only looking for the girl or guy next door, maybe WeChat isn’t for you. If you want to know more about the whole world around you, then WeChat fills the bill perfectly.

Curiously enough, we just shook for a few photos for this post and got no one from Asia. Why? Because it’s almost 3 AM in Asia. If you’re in Europe, shake when Europeans are shaking, if you want to meet people close to you. If you want to live a little, shake when people across the world are shaking. We think you’ll have a lot more fun that way.

Thanks for reading! Comments, questions, observations are always welcome. Hey, why not Like us on Facebook? Here’s the link: Computers Made Simple on Facebook . 


WeChat Voice – a new addition to Weixin/WeChat

Remember WeChat? Here’s our post on it: Weixin or WeChat. We’ve had a lot of fun with this mobile app, that’s for sure. Now there is a new addition that makes it a bit more fun, if that is possible. WeChat already has voice and video and text, of course, but what if you wanted to disguise your voice a bit, either to hide your real voice or to make your friends laugh? Well, you would add WeChat Voice. That’s how you’d do it.

WeChat Voice, click here, takes whatever message you record then changes it, according to your selection. It’s a bit like taking a photo on Instagram and using one of the photo filters to adjust it. It’s relatively simple now, basically speeding your voice up or down, adjusting the pitch, things like that. We assume that the voice choices will change as time goes by.

Photo of WeChat Icon
This is it!


WeChat Voice is available for both Android and iOS (Apple). As with WeChat/Weixin, the app is totally free. We feel that the app is safe, too. Tencent, the supplier, is a extremely large company in China and has a very good reputation. We never hesitate in using their software.

Photo of WeChat Voice Icon 2
Android or iOS, choose your poison.


When you go to the WeChat Voice page, you can ever hear one voice selection. Just press the play button:

Photo of WeChat Voice Icon 3
Press Play and hear one of the voices you can get.


Here’s how it all works. Open WeChat Voice and record your message, choose your filter using the selections provided then export it to WeChat. This is all done automatically. Once you have saved the message, WeChat Voice offers to open WeChat. Then, for a short time, both apps are open at once. You choose the contact you want to send the message to, then the message is uploaded and sent. Yes, it takes a while. WeChat Voice is good for occasional use but it sure won’t be a full-time part of WeChat. It just takes too long!

We can see another way to use WeChat Voice that might make more sense and be just as much fun. If you’re travelling with a group of friends, or simply sitting around in the lunch room, you could have some laughs by recording your voices. Alternatively, you could record a speaker’s voice, let’s say a teacher, and have some fun changing it around a bit.

Thanks for reading!

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Weixan/WeChat – Shake your way to new friends

EDIT: We’ve been in touch with WeChat on Twitter. They’ve sent us a couple of Direct Messages there. Here’s what they said: 

“Hi Brian. Thx for helping us answer users’ questions! I can see that ur site is a super useful resource! We really appreciate it!” 

All well and good but how about some help! Here’s the next one: 

“We read through some of the comments & submitted these issues to the team. We’ll get back to you as soon as I hear back….”

The last one was back on September 27th, 2013. Still waiting. We’ll post when we hear from them. 


Last week, we wrote about WeChat. Here is the post: WeChat/Weixin . Here is the link to WeChat at the Apple Store. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wechat!/id414478124?mt=8 It’s available in the Android app store, as well.

Sometimes it seems that the only innovations in social networking are coming out of China. Honestly, that’s not all that hard to figure out, seeing as how there are over a billion people there and almost half of them use the Internet. Of those users, about 400 million access the Internet using the various mobile devices available, many of which are Smartphones.

Add the fact that Chinese Internet users are very sociable, probably more so than North Americans, and you’ve got a perfect wave forming for a company like Tencent (http://www.tencent.com/en-us/index.shtml). Enter Weixin or WeChat. Tencent already has a huge market with QQ and its own version of Weibo but now, with WeChat, they have come up with a purely mobile chat application that is, to us anyway, stunning.

Read our previous post then come back and find out how to meet new people using WeChat. Take your time, we’ll wait.

OK! Here we go. There are three completely different ways to look for other WeChat users. Of course, you can plunk in your other social media passwords and find out which friends already use WeChat or you can invite them to start using it, but here we’re talking about meeting completely new people.

1. The first way is to simply ‘Look Around’. If your mobile device has a GPS monitor, you’ll be able to search out WeChat users who live in your area. In my case, I found users within 900 meters of my home. To me, that’s kind of like standing on your porch and shouting, “Is there anybody out there?” Of course, the local users are all Chinese, except for me that is. Most early adopters of WeChat are overwhelmingly Chinese but, theoretically, that will change.

Once you find a WeChat user nearby, you can simply say, “Hi”. You can also tune the Look Around feature to show only males, only females or both. Personally, I think this feature is pretty cool but I can also see how it might seem creepy to some of you. If it does, you can easily delete the Look Around plug-in. It is part of the default set of plug-ins and is easily removed.

2. Instead of looking around for other WeChat users, you can shake your way to new relationships using the Shake plug-in. Choose the option from the screen and simply give your mobile phone a shake. WeChat looks around for other users who are shaking their devices at the same time and gives you the option to say hi to them. This plug-in is more proactive than the Look Around feature since you already know that the person shaking their phone is looking to make contact with someone. Say hi and see how it goes. You can always shake again if things turn sour. Remember, again, that virtually every user you contact will be Chinese. If you know anything about China and the Chinese people, you will know that almost everyone wants to learn English but many Chinese already have a rudimentary knowledge of it.  Many Chinese speak and write better English than some of your friends and neighbors, too.

TIP: If you meet someone you like and the English thing isn’t getting you anywhere, you can download QQ International. We’ll do another post on it but, for now, we’ll simply say that you can chat with someone who only knows Chinese even if you only know English. There is a wonderful translation app built into the International version which has opened up the world to China and, of course, China to the world.

3. The last way to meet new friends is to simply cast a bottle out into the ocean. Of course, this is a virtual bottle but it works the same way as a real bottle with a message in it. Type in your note or use a voice message and then toss your bottle into the ocean of WeChat users. WeChat will notify you when someone replies. Just now, I tossed a bottle out and almost instantly got three replies. One was a female exchange student in Denmark, another was a man who left me a voice message and the third was also a guy who just said, ‘Hello”. In the span of five minutes, I’ve got three new people to share things with. Cool!

WeChat isn’t for everyone. At this point, you have to have a keen interest in China and the Chinese people. You also have to be patient and be able to understand that not everyone in the world speaks perfect English. Once you’re over those hurdles, WeChat is loads of fun. Additionally, if you wait a year or so, WeChat will be flooded with millions of other users. At this point, it supports Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Portuguese, plus English and Chinese. (If you know social networking, you’ll see the importance of having WeChat available in Portuguese. Orkut, the Google version of Facebook, is extremely popular in Brazil.)

Questions, comments, links are all welcome. Thanks for reading!



Weixin or WeChat – the hottest new chat app out there!

Some things come out of China that are totally unique; some things come out that are copies; Weixin is a combination of both. If you’re looking for the best chat app that I’ve ever seen, head over to your local app site, either Apple or Android, and look for Weixin or WeChat. They are the same thing, one totally English and the other a combination of Chinese and English.

Tencent, the same people that brought out QQ a few years ago, have managed to cobble together an amazing app which allows text chatting as well as video messaging, photo sharing and voice messaging. You can tie Weixin in with your QQ account, which is what I did, or you can sign up for a whole new account. Once you’re into it, you can then find out which of your friends on other social media, including Facebook, are already on Weixin/WeChat. Of course, as is always the case, you can also invite your friends to use the app as well.

I don’t have an iPhone or an Android device but I do have an iPod Touch. Weixin works perfectly well with it and I’m usually chatting away when I have wifi around. The text is a bit slow with my touchscreen keyboard but the photo sharing and video or voice messaging are extremely fast and stable.

One of the best or weirdest things about WeChat, depending on how social you are, is that you can find other users who live close to you by using the GPS gizmo in your mobile device. I’m in Canada and almost all of my online friends are in China. Well, enter Weixin and all of a sudden I’m chatting with people who live only a few kilometres away. To me, that is a lot of fun, specially since only Chinese users are online at this point. As time goes by, I’m sure many Western peeps will adapt Weixin but, for now anyway, it’s not as cluttered or spammy as Yahoo or Msn or even Skype.

Basically, if you want to be on the cutting edge of social media, download Weixin on your mobile device and start having some fun. There is a whole world of innovation over there in China. Over 100 million Chinese have started using Weixin in its first year. Tencent already has a massive number of users with their QQ chat app. Consider the fact that at any given time over 100 million QQ users are online at the same time, you’ll understand how China has adapted to online social networking. When you consider that about half of those people are using mobile devices, you’ll understand why it’s important to keep up with what’s happening there. At this point in time, 123,000,000 Chinese are online using QQ. I don’t have stats on Weixin but I’d safely assume that there are millions online with it, too.

Thanks for reading!