Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Hike: Good Messaging App for Android

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Instant messaging (IM) has become a trend these days especially with the youth. A trend, pioneered by the immensely popular WhatsApp IM application, others like Nimbuzz and Samsung's proprietary ChatON messenger are trying to follow suit as well.

The latest entrant in this genre is Hike, a communication app that offers both instant messaging and SMS under one roof. Developed by Bharti Softbank, a 50-50 partnership between India's Bharti Telecom and Japan's Softbank telecom provider, the app is the brainchild of Kavin Bharti Mittal.

hike-mobile-verification-ios.jpg 

Hike offers messaging in three different ways. Hike-to-Hike messaging with other phones is unlimited and free worldwide. Second, you can communicate with other smartphone users who don't have Hike via SMS, which is only restricted to India at the moment. Finally, you can message any other phone user via SMS. But beware, if you constantly bug another user with Hike, they are given a code that they can use to block you.

On the bright side, each Hike user gets 100 Free Hike SMS every month to message those friends who aren't on Hike., which gets replenished each month and in case any friend joins the app on your request via SMS, you get 10 Free SMS extra and the company will also be awarding each user with 50 free SMS per month for each friend they have invited to Hike. Other ways of inviting friends are through Facebook, Twitter and email.

hike-rewards.jpgThe user interface of Hike is very clean, simple and basic with pleasant hues of white and blue. Once you've downloaded the app, you'll be prompted to enter your mobile number. While the iOS version sends a 6-digit verification code via SMS that expires within a minute (reminiscent of Google Authenticator), the Android version simply greets you to the welcome screen asking you to enter your name and complete the registration. This is then followed by a tutorial of the app's basics.

Also, as soon as you enter the app, an Inbox message welcomes you with a reward of Rs.10. Every time you successfully invite a friend via SMS you earn credit of an additional Rs.20. In order for you to earn rewards, your friends must download and activate the app soon after you invite them. 
Using the app is fairly simple. The app smoothly integrates your entire existing phone contacts. You can access various menu options such as Home, Invite Friends, Free Messaging and more by swiping left. Swiping right reveals Search bar along with Favourites and Friends on Hike.
Once you send a message you can see sent (S), delivered (D), read and typing (...) notifications, similar to WhatsApp, which has a different notification convention. Apart from the standard Emojis on your device, Hike has its own set of emoticons for variety.  
hike-emojis.jpg
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Hi. This is Suhel S Sayyad. I have completed my Master's Degree from Walchand College of Engineering, Sangli. Currently, working as Assistant Professor at Annasaheb Dange College of Engineering and Technology Ashta. I am part time blogger and love to learn new technologies. My area of interest are Image Processing, Neural Networks, Databases, Mathematical Foundation of Computer Science

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