[iPhone] Save money by sending free messages with Kik MessengerDecember 2, 2012 1 Email article | Print article
How much money do you spend on text (SMS) and picture (MMS) messages a month? More than you would like, I bet. With Kik Messenger you can save that money because Kik Messenger allows you to send messages (text and picture) for free to your friends, as long as you have an Internet connection.
WHAT IT IS AND WHAT IT DOES
Kik Messenger is one of the many SMS-replacement apps out there. With Kik, you can send messages to friends and family for free; it is free because Kik sends messages over the Internet and not traditional SMS. The catch, however, is you can send messages only to people who also use Kik and, of course, you need an active Internet connection.
Aside from sending text messages, Kik allows users to share pictures, videos, and sketches.
- Allows you to send messages to any of your contacts that use Kik, whether they on iPhone, iPad, or Android
- Does not require a phone number, so can be used on SIM-less devices like a tablet or a smartphone without active network service
- Simple and nice interface
- Provides “sent”, “delivered”, and “read” notifications for each message
- Lets you know when your contact is actively typing to you
- Allows you to block people you don’t want disturbing you
- Works over WiFi or network data (2G/3G/4G)
- Messages can only be sent to other Kik users
- Requires you to register a Kik account (registration is free)
- Needs active Internet access, whether that be WiFi or network data
- Inability to turn off push-notifications
- Can be slow to connect compared to other messengers
Traditionally there has been texting (SMS) and instant messaging. Kik Messenger is a pioneer in the “instant texting” genre of apps that have cropped up since smartphones became popular. These apps are basically instant messengers but designed to be SMS replacements. With these types of apps, you can send messages to your contacts (friends, family, etc.) for free… as long as they are using the same program. In this case, Kik Messenger allows you to send text messages and share pictures, video, and sketches with any of your contacts that also use Kik.
Kik Messenger has a nice, easy-to-use, and easy-to-understand interface. Probably the best part about Kik Messenger is it provides “sent”, “delivered”, and “read” notifications for each message you send, allowing you to know if your message has been delivered and read. Another cool aspect of KiK Messenger is it does not require you to have a phone number. Rather, you must register a free Kik account which requires an e-mail address. The advantage of this approach is Kik Messenger can be used on devices that don’t have phone numbers (e.g. tablets like iPad Mini or iPad, or an iPhone that is only used for Internet access and has no phone number). The disadvantage is you must register a new account and remember the password, which can be annoying.
A few things I found annoying about Kik is
- There is no way to turn off the push-notifications that inform you of a new message. Sometimes, I get really annoyed by people who keep messaging me but I don’t want to talk to them. With no way to turn off push-notifications (and the associated relentless beeping from my iPhone), the only other way to stop them from bothering me is to block them which isn’t very feasible because I may want to talk to them in the future.
- Kik Messenger can be quite slow sometimes. Sometimes Kik Messenger tells me it cannot connect to the Internet (presumably their server) and I get really, really pissed off. This happens on both WiFi and cellular data but is worse on cellular data — Kik Messenger just gets slower. At times, when I have urgent messages to send out, Kik refuses to connect to the Internet. What is the point of using an SMS replacement app if I cannot get my messages out; what if I was about to die and I needed to tell someone to come and save me? Okay, a bit dramatic, but you get my point.
Conclusion and Download Link
Kik Messenger is OK. It is a pioneer in this field and it has good features, but the inability to rely on Kik Messenger to send messages (i.e. when it won’t connect) pretty much kills the apps. Plus, there is the issue that you can only send messages to other Kik users — you would be better off with a messenger that your friends and family use instead of Kik, because if you don’t know anyone that uses Kik, it is useless to you.
Overall, the only time I’d recommend Kik to you is if your friends and family use it. However, if your friends and family use it then you probably don’t need my recommendation anyway. So I suppose I’d never recommend Kik Messenger.
Version reviewed: 6.0.0
Requires iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, iOS version 4.3 or higher
Download size: 8.4 MB