App of the week: Honk real-time messaging

Disappearing messages is the next big thing, and Honk takes it up a notch. The Bridge Chronicle reviews the app and tells you if it's worth the hype.
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Representational ImageThe Bridge Chronicle

You've already heard of messaging and instant messaging, but what if we tell you there's something known as 'real-time' messaging that exists today? Amid the heated debate on data privacy, it is only natural to be wary about where your information is stored online. But who can ever be entirely sure about that, to be honest? When we first heard of Honk, it reminded us of a swifter version of Google Docs. And in a way it probably is. Except, of course, until you hit send, and your message disappears -- like it didn't even exist in the first place! If it makes you wonder why an app like that is necessary, don't fret. Because we did too, and after a lot of pondering, we decided to give it a shot.

What does Honk do?

Honk shows the person you're texting what you're texting -- when you're texting it! (Yes, that is what it sounds like; no, you didn't read it wrong.) The iOS-only app follows what was earlier introduced by Snapchat (and now Instagram) -- disappearing messages. Users can send up to 50 words of text messages, but only when the recipient is online at the same time as them. So, say goodbye to long, risky paragraph messages, because you're probably going to have to wait for your friend to be online!

TL;DR? You can send ephemeral messages that immediately disappear on hitting send.

But how does it work?

To use the Honk app, you will need to go onto the chat page, tap on 'add friends' to begin chatting. If your friend is online, you may immediately initiate a conversation with them. If not, you can 'honk' to get their attention. Now, for kids who grew up using the BBM messenger, 'honk' will remind them of the 'ping' feature that helped get a user's attention. Helpful (yet annoying when unrequired!), this feature sends a vibrating alert to your phone along with a cute 'honk' sound effect. As cool as it sounds, we're definitely thankful that this feature does not exist on WhatsApp!

Despite its bare minimum features, there's also an option to spruce up your chatbox a bit. You can choose between colours, add a nickname for your friends and assign 'magic words' that will float emojis every time you use them. However, there are no archives that you can look back at, no chat history to reminisce and absolutely no trace of sent messages you will find on Honk.

The verdict

The concept is definitely amusing, but if you are one of those people who thought this was silly -- then you're probably not the target audience this app is aiming to reach. Honk is leaning towards becoming a little more 'millennial-friendly', and the concept takes it time to grow on you. But by saying that, we cannot rule out the fact that Honk is rather pointless somewhere down the line.

There is also barely any scope to make improvisations in the existing app, considering the idea is only limited to live-texting. The almost-futuristic interface is seamless to use, but if you're going to have to wait for the other person to come online and respond to your 'text', it kills the purpose of texting. Honk also has limited features, and you at some will miss having a 'group chat' with your buddies. And while we can only hope that those features make it to the app sometime soon, we're not sure when -- or if they will.

Of course, not all is terrible about Honk because we love how the 'floaty' emojis look on chat. We could also get used to the vibrant chatbox and the speed at which we receive these messages. We are left wondering about where the generation is heading with the idea of 'disappearing messages'! In fact, the app has not clarified much about its privacy policies and data encryption yet. However, we're all for welcoming the change and are looking forward to seeing where this takes us.

iOS rating: 4.7/5

Android rating: N.A

TBC rating: 3/5

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