Hike is a beautiful new instant messaging app for the iPhone, Android and Windows Phone that comes from one of the most brilliant developers from India. And here’s my review of Hike and why I strongly believe that this should have been how WhatsApp should be.
Why I started disliking WhatsApp?
While almost all the major apps received updates after the release of the iPhone 5, there was one popular app, which was not updated for about a month after release. And the app is none other than the most popular WhatsApp. I use WhatsApp more than any other app on my iPhone and the developers failing to update the app regularly has put me down. Even though there were so many alternatives for WhatsApp, all of them made a difference only with the UI, but not with the basic functionalities.
WhatsApp is huge. I agree. But I wonder if the developers really realize how huge they are, and I wonder if they are really thinking about the future of the app, except for updating the service to the new compatibilities. As a end-user, I’m not able to predict what the developers would do for WhatsApp. And also, using apps like Tweetbot on iPhone has set expectations with the end-user for the need for better UI and functionalities with the already existing services.
While I was looking for some of the apps that really make some sense, I came across Hike. Hike is probably the perfect instant messaging app which should have been the WhatsApp of all time. The app is really brilliant and let me give you a quick review of the app now.
Why Hike (S)Would win?
Hike is something that is trying to create a user experience than just letting people message using the internet. The app is really brilliant and neat in its own way, and I wish it has a bright future. Tweetbot for example, set a benchmark for the apps that are trying to make a difference in the App Store for a higher price point. But ultimately, the app lets the user do all that Tweetdeck can do on a Mac or iPhone or iPad. But why did people opt for Tweetbot? Well, it because of the neat, tidy and unique workflow and the connect that has for the users. This is exactly what Hike is trying to do on almost all the major platforms that’s existing.
Right from the signup page to the messaging screen, the app is designed to perfection. The UI is really intuitive and works without any lag, even with a very large DB of messages stored in it. This is not all. The features too are compelling when compared to the early adopter, WhatsApp. When you install and open the app for the first time, you are greeted with a welcome screen, clearly explaining the features that a user needs to know. The screen ultimately leads to the signup page, were you are requested to enter your mobile number and boom, within a few minutes, you get a SMS with the PIN and that’s it, you’re in.
Now that you’re in the main screen, the top left corner button functions pretty much like the Facebook app, bringing in the Profile and other essential information menu from the left. The panel shows you the number of free SMS messages that you can send via Hike itself for a month. And interestingly, there’s no premium way to increase this limit. Yet. Another important thing to note here is that the free messaging feature is available for users only in India. This is one of the few apps that is India specific. Hike is now acting not only as my WhatsApp replacement, but also as the regular Message.app replacement on my iOS and Android device.
Let’s now talk about the messages screen. The screen is really really neat and has a very intuitive way to display the delivery report with the arrow marks. Also, when you want to add a media file to a message, all you need to do is to just press the ‘+’ button, which would push the messages window up and giving you the options to add media to your message. Also, just like how cluttered the WhatsApp’s messages screen background would be, the Hike has got a pleasing color, which does not feel hard on the eyes even in the night.
Hike is one such app that deserves maximum publicity, and the app is worth the price. Which is Free. Yes. Unlike WhatsApp, you don’t have to pay Rs. 55 for a year to use WhatsApp. But Hike is always free, without any ads in the app. There’s only one platform that the developers are yet to cover. Which is Blackberry.
Get Hike for your mobile
You can also follow Karthik on Google+ of Facebook or Twitter.