- Editor's Rating
Billed as “The best thing from Skype since Skype,” Skype Qik is a group video messaging app that wants to keep the long-standing service from being eclipsed by the Snapchats and Wickrs of the world. But sometimes attempts to stay relevant can fall flat. Skype Qik isn’t exactly an epic fail, but it does leave a few things to be desired.
For one, there’s no such thing as importing your existing Skype contacts. This can be seen as both a positive and a negative, as you don’t have to register for a Skype account to use the app. On the other hand, you’re limited to sending video messages (a maximum of 40 seconds in length) to people whose names and numbers are already in your contacts.
If you try to send a video message to someone who doesn’t have Skype Qik installed, a message will pop up asking you if you want to invite them to download the app. This sends an automated text message to the recipient, providing them with a link and a pre-populated message sent from your number.
Other quirks abound, including not having the option to preview a recorded message prior to sending it, although you can delete a video from the chat log at any time if you really want a second take. There’s also no support for sending text messages or still shots, both of which are prominently featured capabilities of other video messaging apps.
To its credit, the app is cleanly designed, easy to use, and requires no instruction. To record a video message, you simply tap the red circular “record” icon. Prior to recording, you can orient your phone camera to either front- or rear-facing view. When you’re finished, tap the red icon again, pick your recipients, and press the small red “send” icon. Messages can be sent to individuals or groups. Unlike Snapchat’s rapidly self-destructing messages, Skype Qik keeps your messages in the log for two weeks unless you delete them manually. After two weeks, videos are automatically wiped.
Settings are limited, allowing you only a few options: turning notifications on or off, specifying to download messages only when you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network, and requiring your permission prior to sending anyone on your list an SMS invite to download the app.
If you can get past the buzzkills of not being able to reach out to Skype friends and being limited only to video messages, you may find Skype Qik to be a fun app to add to your (growing) list of communications options. But if you’re the type who demands greater functionality from your mobile apps, you might be better off opting for something else.