We all knew the what and the why of Hike’s recent ZipPhone acquisition. Laying speculations to rest, Hike has just announced voice-calling on its Android app. The announcement comes just 3 weeks after it acquired ZipPhone.
Just like other Hike features, Hike has promised that voice-calling through its new app would comply with India’s generally high-priced data plans, by allowing users to “pack in many more minutes per MB when calling on Hike”.
The new feature allows you to make calls in over 200 countries across the globe and you can make these calls even over a 2G network, with obvious options of 3G and Wi-Fi.
The feature however is still in Beta Phase. Hike says,
Expect us to move quickly and launch a number of improvements over the next few months including an iOS and Windows Phone version by the end of this quarter.
WhatsApp has been in the works of developing a similar feature for its IM app. And even though it has that $19 Billion price tag and that Facebook muscle power, it looks Hike has take over the lead, as far as voice calling feature is concerned.
This will come as a scathing blow to WhatsApp’s plan of rolling out a voice-calling feature, expected in early 2015. It will be even more damaging, considering the fact that WhatsApp has been India’s favourite IM app with over 70 Million active users, or a tenth of its global user base.
And while we still do not exactly know as to when WhatsApp will bring around this feature, Hike has brought out the update to its Android app. The company said it will add voice-calling to its iOS and Windows Phone apps by the end of this quarter. Android users account for over 90 percent of Hike’s users.
Though we did see certain leaked images from an upcoming WhatsApp build, it is still unclear as to when will the Facebook-owned IM app actually roll out this feature.
Hike recently announced that its userbase touched the 35 Million mark, and most of its users hail from India.