Messaging app hike has launched hike 2.0 version with a few nifty updates, most notable being status updates using moods. The app lets you send free messages to your friends and family.
Now you can share what you’re thinking about or what you’re up to in real-time with your close friends. You can still message anyone on your address book, yet at the same time share those intimate and personal moments with your close friends.
When posting a thought you can attach a mood to it to express how you’re feeling and share only with your circle of friends.
The concept of circle is to a certain extent, based on Google Plus’ Circles – i.e. you can add others to your circles and follow their updates.
Kavin Mittal, the creator of hike says “Over the last decade, the amount of information we share everyday has increased exponentially. As we move to a mobile first world, the rate at which we share is increasing at an even faster rate. With powerful smartphones in our pockets, we have access to a world of tools to help us share the more intimate moments in life. But what we’ve noticed is that the more intimate a moment, the smaller the group you share with. The more we share, the less the number of people we want to share with.”
Status Updates are now no more boring just plain old text in hike anymore. One can now attach a Mood sticker to it. hike has various moods like Happy, Hungover, Shopping and in a tribute to the flavor of the season one can also show support to their favorite IPL team. Though the number of moods are limited at present, the developers say we can expect more within the month.
Status Updates with a Mood are only visible to your ‘Circle of Friends’, though there is an option to share it to Facebook or Twitter.
If one gets bombarded with an excess of notifications from your friends, there is now an option to mute all Status Updates notifications. We see this as a really useful feature.
The way notifications are displayed on different platforms as also been refined, using the strengths of each OS. On iOS, one will still see an unread Status update counter on the app icon. On Windows Phone 8, it has been incorporated into Live Tiles and interactive notifications are coming to Android soon.
The update has also made it easier to start a Group Chat, send a 1 to 1 message or update a status by adding 3 buttons which hover at the bottom of the screen.
While all these updates add a lot of functionality and bring in an element of fun, we still see majority of our contacts using WhatsApp and wonder if other messaging apps can ever draw the momentum that WhatsApp has seen.
Kavin Mittal says that where he hopes hike will succeed is that it will be contextually more relevant and that they hope to add more features over the next 6 months to enhance that. He also said that half their user base is from India as of now, but they see the number of users from other parts of the world especially the Middle East and Europe picking up and that Status Updates with Moods is what sets them apart from the crowded messaging market. Also with WhatsApp moving to subscription model gradually, apps like hike might just be able to grab some market share in the near future.
A alpha version of the app for BlackBerry 7 is in development, which should be ready by the end of the month.