Android App of the Day: Kik Messenger

The Kik Messenger app for Android takes after the infamous BlackBerry messenger platform and lets everyone else that doesn’t have a BlackBerry device message their friends for free regardless of what platform they are on.The app is quick to download, easy to use, and now offers a robust set of features. You’ll be surprised at how many of your friends are already using it. You can chat, send pictures, and take advantage of the app’s push notification features so you’ll never be left out of the loop again.

Pros:

  • Free cross-platform messenger
  • Chat with an individual or group
  • Send pictures
  • See when your message is sent, delivered, and read
  • Advertisement free
  • No messaging fees
  • Offline messages
  • Sleek interface
  • Push notifications
  • Invite friends via text, e-mail, or social network
Cons:
  • Potential to drain battery life
  • Can’t send video clips
  • App can sporadically freeze during group chat
How it works:
After downloading the app and creating a Kik username you can immediately dive into the Kik app. The app prompts you to upload your address book to find any of your contacts that are already using the Kik app. You can also invite your friends by tapping on the settings icon (top left). You can send a friend a text message,email, or social network invitation. The interface is sleek looking in design and offers up easy navigation. You have the option to customize your Kik notifications by either selecting sound, vibration, or message preview to on. The Kik app continues to work in the background so I recommend turning your notifications on so that you can be alerted whenever anyone messages you on Kik. You can also choose to add a profile picture or change the color of your chat bubble. Having a user profile picture adds a small personal touch to the service and gives it more of a social feel.
Once you’ve found your friends on Kik you can start “Kik’ing” it with your contacts. To start a chat with a contact tap on their username and start typing or tap on the camera icon to send a photo. After your message has been sent you will see either an “S”, “R”, or “D” with a check mark next to it. This indicates that your message has either been sent, read, or delivered. You can also initiate a group chat or send messages in offline mode.Overall the app worked super fast and I only experienced freeze ups when I was engaged in a group chat. As expected, using Kik as your primary messenger app has the potential to decrease your battery life, but this also depends on what other apps you have running alongside it.
Conclusion: 
Kik Messenger for Android is a reliable cross-platform app that provides a similar concept to Blackberry Messenger. One of the cool features that I enjoyed with this app is that it lets you know when your messages have been sent, delivered, and if your friend has actually read your message. You can also see when the other person is currently typing to you. The app’s interface allows you to view a combination of the messages that you have running in the background and any notifications across the top of the screen. Kik makes messaging more of a real-time chat experience instead of just sending a traditional text and waiting for a response. For anyone who suffers from a limited voice or data plan, using Kik as your cross-platform app is a great alternative to chatting with your friends for absolutely free.
Kik is available for free in the Google Play Store. Requires Android 1.5 and higher. Play Link