It is not always that a tech company says it had done something wrong. So it came as a surprise when messaging app Hike announced a revamped version for BlackBerry users with a candid post on the Hike website , which admitted that their first version for BB was not up to the mark.
"It wasn’t near ‘hike quality’. We shipped out a product that should’ve never been in the market. We apologise. But we learn fast.”
The new Hike messenger update is available for BlackBerry versions from OS 5 to 7 and excluding BB10. The post says the updated app will not hang or slow down on BlackBerry phones.
Hike's move is not surprising. The messaging app space is crowded and Hike is up against apps such as WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, Nimbuzz and BBM. Developed by Bharti Softbank, a collaboration between Bharti Enterprises and Japanese firm Softbank, Hike has features designed for Indians.
Hike creator Kavin Mittal, son of Bharti group CEO Sunil Bharti Mittal, told The Indian Express in an email, “We built hike keeping the Indian market in mind. We see hike as the BBM for this generation. It has the richness of what a messaging app should offer with a layer of privacy to keep close friends even closer.”
Mittal is referring to Hike's Indian stickers, emoticons and a separate user group for close friends. This helps users keep some content away from prying eyes. Close friends can see your status updates and the time you were last online.
In a country plagued by slow internet speeds, Hike offers free text messages for all users. In the email, Mittal said, “We also allow our users to send free SMS to those who do not have hike installed. Given the small penetration of smartphones and data plans in the Indian market, this is a big differentiator and we're seeing close to 30 per cent of our overall messaging traffic as free SMS.”
We tested this claim and found it to be true. Hike lets users send text messages free of charge, but at the end of each message, there is an advertisement that gives a link to download Hike.
Those worried about spam can rest easy as the app respects do not disturb (DND) settings. If you send an SMS to someone who has enabled DND, Hike will not let you send another one until the user replies