By Alok Saboo on March 2nd, 2012
If the last decade was about voice, this decade is about video!!
The availability of portable devices (smartphones and tablets) and technological infrastructure is fueling the demand for video calling and collaboration options and and firms are happy to oblige. Leveraging the iPad’s form factor and touch capabilities, Hookflash is bringing a free, rich, real-time communication app that makes collaboration easy. The app is currently under closed beta (sign-up for an invite) and should be available in the App store very soon. While you are at this, I will also encourage you to check out VSee, probably the best free group video calling app out there.
Hookflash is one of those rare apps that will blow everybody’s minds. It provides a simple and elegant solution to a real problem – video conferencing. While the video collaboration space is getting crowded fast, there are several factors that make Hookflash stand out:
- Design and Aesthetics: Most reviews would start with the features, but I genuinely feel that Hookflash scores big on aesthetics. The app is an eye candy. Everything, starting from the name to the finished product “hooks” you in. The developers have spared no effort in making it a fun app to use and must be congratulated for the same. The attention to details is noticeable – you will love the app.
- Powerful yet Simple: Hookflash includes all the features that you would expect from the video calling app, including audio calls, video calls, and instant messaging. Group calling is in the works (along with ton of other features) and should be available shortly. Again, the emphasis is on including only the features that users care and getting rid of all the fluff. Hookflash supports HD audio (iSAC) and HD video (VP8) and is based on Google’s WebRTC protocol, providing lot of potential for future enhancements.
- Focus on Enterprises: While most apps in this category would have started with Facebook or Twitter, Hookflash chose LinkedIn as a platform. You need a LinkedIn account to even use the app. Erik Lagerway, Hookflash’s co-founder and COO, indicated that this is a conscious strategy as Hookflash is targeting the enterprise segment, thus justifying the choice of LinkedIn as a platform. Hookflash may add support for Twitter and Facebook in the future, but for now you can only communicate with your LinkedIn contacts.
Here’s a video demonstration of the app (with Erik Lagerway):
Few bugs aside (which are to be expected given the beta status), Hookflash is a solid app. The quality of audio and video is excellent. The app combines social and business elements to offer a compelling proposition. Not surprisingly, then, Hookflash is one of the four apps being showcased at the Enterprise Connect 2012.
The app itself is free and so is the usage. The company plans to provide the most feature rich client even for non-paying customers and hopes to make revenues from enterprise users. Hookflash is a must have app – it makes your iPad and LinkedIn account infinitely more useful!!
Note: The review is based on the beta version of the app. The final version may have different features than those indicated here.