Frequent data based messaging apps such as Google Talk, Kik and WhatsApp? Kick in particular is one of our favorites (more-so than the more popular WhatsApp) simply because the UI is far better. Again, our opinion. The nicer UI alone doesn’t seem to matter, though, as on the Android side of things, WhatsApp is still the more popular choice. But there’s a new data based messaging client on the block that will be just as versatile as WhatsApp and look even better than Kik. An app developed by Indian based BSB (Baharti Softbank) called “Hike” will seriously make you reconsider your WhatsApp addiction (as well as any addiction to a similar app).
It’s immediately clear from the splash above that design is first and foremost, at the top of the developers’ priority list. The sparse, clean UI is still a rarity (but a growing trend) amongst Android apps.
Outside of the pretty face, Hike will one-up apps like WhatsApp by featuring the ability to use a person’s phone number as an ID, but send messages via data instead. The environment will be, as BeautifulPixels notes, similar to iMessage — Hike users can send messages via cellular network to a non-Hike users phone number as well as over data to Hike users. Again like iMessage, cellular based, non-Hike messages will be one color while data based messages will be portrayed in another. Users will allegedly receive up to 100 “free” messages that can be sent via cellular network to non-Hike users, though can gain more with referrals (India only for now).
The developers told Beautiful Pixels that the big upcoming feature additions planned for future updates include group chat (even with non-Hike users) and file transfers.
Where’s the iOS version? The BSB team is actively working on the iOS version of Hike and should have it ready for release “in the coming weeks”.
We’ve been playing with Hike for only about 10 minutes but already have come to the conclusion WhatsApp and Kik are no longer needed on our device. It’s smooth in operation and fast sending messages. So the core experience is rock solid. And that pretty face…
Try it out for yourselves and let us know what you think!
Download: Hike for Android (Google Play Link)