By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito
At this point of time when every Zimbabwean and the world over is talking about how Whatsapp has changed their way of life through CHEAP communication, it would be rather outrageous to even think that they can be a replacement to this giant.
Imagine an app that allows you to read messages while you watch your movie, browse websites even while you Whatsapp somebody, you can have a pop up like screen that actually allows you to respond without switching screens.
This new kid on the block is called , HoverChat , the next big thing with 200 000 downloads already and an average 8000 new downloads daily.
It began as startup project initially called Ninja SMS, as the name suggested, the app was meant to revolutionise SMS messaging, though the creators of the app are NOT at all saying this, their real target is no longer SMS, it is actually Whatsapp.
According to TechCrunch, the company was founded in Egypt about a year ago by Wael Nafee, Mostafa Gazar and Ahmed Galal. Nafee, born to Egyptian parents, studied engineering at the University of Waterloo and spent time working in Silicon Valley before heading back to Egypt, where he met HoverChat’s other co-founders.
To be much more accurate, this is an app by Africans to take the world by storm.
I have to personally admit that I’m not a fan of Whatsapp, for one major reason, I feel that people without much to do express their idleness through the app as they slowly Whatsapp their life away disturbing everyone else especially with continuous group chats forcing people to simply minimise or leave the group.
I’m not going to divert here and concentrate on just how I think Whatsapp sucks but let’s get back to the new kid on the block.
“If you look at the messaging landscape, they all have a very similar user interface. They all expect users to behave the same way with interacting with their app,” explains Nafee. That is, you launch your preferred app with the intention of having a messaging session that takes your full focus. “What we said is that messaging is a social activity that happens on the side of everything that you’re doing,” said Ahmed
Techcrunch says “With HoverChat, the idea is to make messaging part of a user’s multi-tasking workflow. The app is more flexible, as it lets you read and reply to incoming messages, identified with a round “chat head”-like avatar, without leaving your current screen. You can even adjust the transparency of the messaging interface, making it translucent enough to see the content behind it. That way, you can message while doing other things, like browsing the web or watching a video, for example.”
Going forward, Nafee says the plan is to move away from being only an SMS and MMS replacement application, and instead develop its own platform to allow for free messaging and other enhancements. The goal is to have that work done by this summer. Also on the roadmap is a more limited iOS version of the app, which won’t be able to float on top of other screens as on Android, but will allow for more basic features like the custom avatars.
The free app is here on Google Play.