This free, dedicated video messenger from Skype provides high quality video with great sharing potential
- Fast, high quality video messenger
- Create chats to quickly send video messages between particular people
- Groups feature lets you create group chats
- Qik Flicks let you add 5-second pre-recorded clips as replies
- Cannot access your Skype contacts when using the app
- Only users with the app can message one another
- UI is awkward to use and difficult to navigate
Skype Qik (pronounced "quick") is a free-to-use video messaging service developed by Skype that lets you send short video messages to your phone's contacts quickly and easily.
Setting Up Skype Qik
When communicating with your friends on the go, it is often important to be able to send content as fast and as effectively as you can. The rise of popular messaging apps has facilitated this process, and Skype Qik is a great example. Skype Qik allows a user to send short, high quality video messages to his/ her phone's contacts in seconds, without any hassle.
Setting up Skype Qik is a quick and easy process. First off, the app is not directly connected to your Skype account, meaning your Skype contacts are not imported into the app. The only information the app requires is your phone number, and access to your contact list on your phone. After that, you're ready to go.
Qik Chats and the Messaging Process
Skype Qik has a barebones interface, containing a red button for recording short video messages, a camera inversion button to flip front and rearview cameras, and a button for adding other users. Adding people can also be done at the top of the app. To begin a recording, you tap on the red button once. A red circle in the middle of the app will track and display noise levels, while a red line will travel around the app until your recording is completed. If you want to finish your recording early, simply tap the red button again.
For Skype Qik to send a message to someone, two criteria must be fulfilled. First, they must exist in your phone's contact list. This is a particularly awkward feature, particularly in light of the fact that your Skype contacts cannot be used, despite being affiliated with Skype. Second, they must have the app installed on their phones. Once you have recorded a message, the app will prompt you to send it to a user. If you have not added any users, the Qik test can be used to try it out, acting as a kind of proxy receiver.
To send a new video chat to a user, you can either tap the Add people button at the top of your app's main menu, or tap the record button and select a user afterward. One of Skype Qik's unique features is that it can create chats containing multiple people, known as Groups.
At this stage, the window displayed is known as a conversation or a chat. It collects all messages sent to and from this particular group of people in a single location. At the top of the screen, you will see the name of the user you have sent the message to (in this case, Qik test). Tapping the play button will play the video clip just recorded. The trash can will delete the last recorded clip. Finally, if you want to add a new message, you tap the red bubble on the bottom right, and it directs you to another page from which you can record and send another message.
When replying to people, you can either access the specific Chat in question by swiping down on the Home menu, or use what's known as a Qik flick - a 5-second pre-recorded response.
When replying to people, you can either access the specific Chat in question by swiping down on the Home menu, or use what's known as a Qik flick - a 5-second pre-recorded response. These are designed specifically for messages not worth creating a new reply for. These can be accessed via the smiley face symbol next to the red circle button. To record a new flick, just tap the "+".
A Bit Too Minimal
While a fairly straightforward app on the surface, the user interface has several problems worth pointing out. First, the user interface is difficult to navigate and it does not feel all that intuitive. Modes are not displayed clearly, and it took me several minutes to realize that swiping allowed a user to switch between menus. Lack of integration with Skype essentially makes the app a stand-alone video messaging service. The app also uses your address book and previously added contacts for your messaging pool, making it only as useful as the contacts who already have the app.
Despite some issues, I think that Skype Qik is still a great app. Video clips can be recorded for a decent length (20 seconds approx.), longer than most apps of its kind. Keeping track of your conversations is simple with the Chats feature. The Groups feature also lets you send messages to multiple people at once. Qik flicks change up the way people reply to messages by making it a more humorous exercise. The interface, while a little awkward, is simple at its core, facilitating quick transmission of high quality video and audio clips. Overall, the app is fine as a dedicated video messenger, and I would definitely recommend downloading it.