More than just your average chat app

We’re all pretty familiar with chat apps like Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp, but what if there was one communication portal that wanted to offer more to its users?

Enter Flochat, a clever app recently launched in the UAE that isn’t just another way to stay in touch with friends and family but, thanks to the ability to interface with other popular apps, allows you to get plenty of other stuff done.

Like what, you ask? Well, Flochat can get nearby restaurant recommendations courtesy of Zomato, book Groupon deals or order a car via Uber and Careem, all without ever having to leave the app. It uses Bing as its default search engine (they can’t all be winners) with more partnerships to be announced later this year.

We looked up a local cafe in Media City using Flochat, checked out the menu to see if anything appealed, and then booked a ride to it via Careem. Flochat even automatically populated the destination without us needing to type anything.

The app allows you to chat with anyone in your phone’s contact list – provided they also have the Flochat downloaded – and is surprisingly robust. You can post emoji’s, stickers and even watch YouTube videos directly in chat. There’s also a feature called ‘Stitch’ which makes a collage from multiple selfie photos that can be sent to friends.

Flochat also has its own built-in AI assistant called Floda. Think of it as that virtual paperclip from old versions of Microsoft Word, but actually useful. You can ask Floda to make restaurant recommendations or to tell you a joke. It’s not always completely accurate (or funny) but it’s a neat additional feature that the apps developers say will only continue to improve over time via machine learning.

Overall, we really like the ideas behind Flochat – a sort of one-stop-shop for your mobile experience without the need to clutter your phone with too many apps.

It has partnerships on board with some of the biggest online brands in the country, which definitely a great start, but its biggest challenge is going to be convincing users to move away from their prefered chat apps onto a new platform.

Flochat is free and available now for iOS and Android smartphones.

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