Well, this is interesting. As some of you may remember we first let loose some information about Kik back at the BlackBerry Developers Conference. Now, while we are all still waiting for the Kik music app to arrive, out of nowhere Kik has sent a message to some of the folks who signed up previously regarding a new application they have clearly been working on under the covers. Kik Chat as its called is a new SMS application which offers a well rounded feature set that I was totally impressed with as soon as I opened it. Check out the feature list, as noted from their email.
- INSTANT: Just start texting any mobile phone number in your phone's address book and we automatically get it through. You can forget about requesting or following your friends, or trying to figure out who is and isn't on Kik. Woohoo!
- UNLIMITED FREE KIK-TO-KIK: Get unlimited, free texting to all Kik users! So send your friends a free Kik message telling them to join.
- TWO WAY KIK-TO-NON-KIK: Stay connected to non-Kik users with 50 free outgoing SMS messages a month (unlimited free incoming). Additional outgoing messages are less than a cent. But hey, why not save the $0.009 by getting your friends to download Kik?
- REAL NUMBERS = REAL RELIABILITY: Thanks to special arrangements with US and Canadian carriers, we send your Kik-to-Non-Kik messages through real mobile phone numbers. That guarantees fast delivery of every Kik-to-Non-Kik text. Nice! Most other services still rely on email to SMS gateways, which means your texts can take up to 8 hours to deliver. Sooo 2009.
- BLACKBERRY AND IPHONE PEACEMAKER: We took the time to develop an awesome app for both BlackBerry AND iPhone. Now you can easily and reliably text your iPhone and BlackBerry friends for free. (Note: the iPhone app costs $0.99)
- NO LONG DISTANCE SMS CHARGES: Your friends who haven't yet joined Kik can reply without paying long distance SMS charges. How so? We automatically assign you a local texting phone number in each country we support (currently US and Canada).
- FUNCTIONAL STATUS: Have time to read a message, but not respond? Don't worry, we won't rat you out. BBM users know why you'll love this feature. :)
Pretty cool and well, totally unexpected. Kik to Kik SMS is free, so it's a valid reason to suggest it to other users so you can have free SMS to them. And just in case you still have friends and family members not using Kik, they will give you 50 free messages to those users each month. Now, this isn't to say the Kik music app we saw is no longer coming, it's actually planned for a later release along with a few other items on the list as well. This is just one piece of Kik that will build a whole community around the apps offered. Kik works with the BlackBerry Bold , Bold 9700, Tour, 8300, 8500, 8800 and 8900 and finally iPhones with more to come, including Android devices.