Yoga guru Ramdev is on a roll. After announcing his new range of SIM cards named Swadeshi Samriddhi, he launched a messaging app called Kimbho. Kimbho in Sanskrit, translates to ‘How are you?’ according to Times Now. The app is widely being touted as a competitor to WhatsApp, which already has a billion users worldwide. So far, Kimbho has been downloaded about fifty thousand times on Google Play. We downloaded Ramdev’s new app and put it through its paces.
At 40MB, it isn’t exactly light, but thanks to cheap data, it shouldn’t be much of a concern. Besides, it is a one-time download. According to the developers, Patanjali Communications, Kimbho is a ‘real-time messaging app’ and comes with no ads. The developers claim that Kimbho encrypts all messages with AES and does not store data on their servers or the cloud.
We had issues getting the OTP on our phone but after a few attempts, it turned out fine. On setting up your username and birthday, you’re taken to the main screen. It has three tabs for Chats, Contacts and an Activity monitor.
Moving to the Contacts tab, there’s the usual Create New Group, Broadcast Lists options along with a new option called Follow Celebrities. As of now, that list is empty. New Kimbho members show up on the top in the Contacts list – a feature we liked. They’re also mentioned on the Activities tab.
Inside the chat screen, you get the WhatsApp-y feel with the green layout, contact name on top, followed by the call buttons. We liked the button layout at the bottom of the screen.
The text input area has a button to add emojis, a ‘+’ sign to add files, contacts, locations and a link to the camera. A really cool feature comes in the form of a clipboard icon. Tapping it shows a list of predefined messages. Adding photos or videos is just a tap away with the gallery icon. Voice messages are supported as well. There is a selection of stickers but they’re quite limited at the moment. A paintbrush tool lets you doodle and send the same to the contact.
Finally, the option we’d all been hoping to see. The little ghost emoji at the bottom is meant for secret messages. Tap on it and the next message you send will self-destruct in a few moments (there's no way to change the timer). Video calls were pretty smooth as well, considering we’ve only tested using 4G data. You can block contacts as well.
What let us down though, is the settings menu which lacked the all-important ‘remove the last seen timestamp.’ The options available are pretty basic – change phone number, edit profile, media auto-download options…you get the idea. Customization options such as configuring the notification lights, message notifications, setting up font size and changing wallpapers are missing. However, this is the first launch of Kimbho and hopefully, more features will be available later.