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Quick Look: Kik Messenger for iPhone

This is Kik Messenger. It’s fast, it’s free, and it’s my new go-to smartphone messaging app.

There are a lot of basic things that Kik gets right:

  • notifications show contact names and the message and nothing else (unlike Beluga)
  • the sound of notifications is pleasant and distinct; there’s so confusing a kik’ed message for an incoming SMS
  • the UI is clutter and almost miraculously ad-free
  • there are slick icons that tell you when a message has been sent, received, and read; Kik also tells you when your contact is typing something to you
  • the service loads nice and quickly, so you only ever have to wait a few seconds to load sets of new messages
  • the send button is in a very reasonable location, which means that the designers know exactly how I chat
  • you add friends by username and not by some random PIN
  • group chat is effortless and only requires two taps (but basically requires profile pictures or everyone looks alike!)
  • tapping on a message will let you copy it so that you can quickly paste it into another message (great for blackmail)
  • Kik is cross-platform works on iOS and Android – a pity that it was removed from the Blackberry App World, though

There are a few advanced features that Kik is still missing (voice/video messages, wallpapers), but I’m perfectly happy without them. All I really wanted from Kik was an app to help me chat with my other smartphone-wielding friends in a manner that is more reliable than text messaging, and it has performed beautifully in that regard.
The only difficult thing about using Kik has been re-establishing my old contacts list, as I now have to persuade my group of friends to “leave WhatsApp, it’s better here!”.

However, this messenger app has convinced me to kick WhatsApp, Beluga, LiveProfile, and PingChat! off of my iPhone and simply stick to Kik.

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