I am a hardcore WhatsApp user and App based Messaging has literally replaced sms for me. With the recent problems of lagginess at WhatsApp, I have been searching for a replacement to test. I have tried a few so far and Kik seems to stand out.
Kik Messenger is a cross platform messenger that works on iOS, Windows 7, and Android phones. Since the App works on data, there are no added sms costs involved with using Kik. So with any data plan, you can send text, have group chats, and send Photos using Kik with no added costs (Free!).
It does not offer video, location, nor voice like WhatsApp, which means that they won’t have the traditional bottlenecks associated with mass users adopting the system. There are also Emoticons built natively into the App so everyone gets their Smileys the way it should be seen, this is opposed to other Messenger services that require you to install your own set of emoticons.
The App has an easy to use interface and proved to be fast and reliable in sending messages (so far). Upon starting up the App for the first time, you will need to register with an email address.
The App will then ask you permission to use your phone’s contact list to search for other Kik users (I had none). Alternatively you can invite friend via email, sms, or Social Networking sites like Facebook, Twiter, and Google+.
Instant Notification of Messages
When you send a message on Kik it shows you the status of the message, you will see an S (sent), D (Delivered), or R (Read) beside the message. It also tells you when your contact is typing a message. If this looks vaguely familiar to BBM (Blackberry’s Native Messaging App), it is because Kik’s founder was involved in the development of BBM.
More things to come
What impressed me about Kik is how they have set their sights on doing more. Kik has released a Software Development Kit (SDK) for other developers to integrate Kik into their software.
In their example you can use a simple sketching app – Sketchee (also available on the App store) – sketch something and send to a Kik contact from within the Sketchee App, the contact can edit it and send it back. This can go to and fro to make for a great interactive experience. I can see much, much more coming out of this as its developed. Perhaps sharing and playing games, music etc etc.
In my view, I think that Kik is a Work in Progress. They have not offered other features like video, and voice which traditionally clog up other networks, so don’t expect the plethora of services like WhatsApp. You can expect to have messages sent and received on-time. Seeing that Kik Messenger is free, that’s really good enough for me.