What is Yak?
Yak is an iPhone app that allows you to talk to your friends in the same way that you do with SMS, only without the SMS charges. And Yak has the amazing additional feature of group text, photo messaging, video messaging, voice, locations and read receipts!!
Whether you are chatting one on one with someone or in a group you get instant notifications when messages are sent,, even when the App is not running.
You simply sign up to Yak creating yourself a unique 'Yak ID', then you invite your friends to join you on Yak either using the Yak invite function or just by telling them your Yak ID. When they have installed Yak and added you as a friend using your Yak ID then you can chat away and exchange photos for FREE!
Does Yak use my SMS services
No! You will not be charged SMS charges. It uses a tiny amount of your data plan instead. You can on average send over 2,500 text message for a megabyte of your dataplan. This is a fraction of a cent / pence. Media obviously uses more.
Does it work anywhere
Anywhere in the world where you can get a mobile or WiFi signal.
How do I?
When you start Yak for the first time you are asked to provide your name, a Yak ID and a password. This is your registration process! Simply fill out these three fields and you are done. Please make sure that you
a) Spell your desired Yak ID correctly, you would be amazed how many support queries are down to this.
b) Use a Yak ID easy to remember and easy to pass to your friends, they will use this to add you to their copy of Yak.
Add a contact
To add a contact simply go to the friends tab, then click 'Add' at the top left of the screen. You will then be presented with a screen that has 2 fields to fill out.
2. Yak ID
Fill in your friends name in the first field, then their Yak ID in the second. It is very important that you get the Yak ID correct and if they are already registered with Yak it is important that you use the same Yak ID that they registered with themselves.
If you find later that you are not hooking up with a friend as you expect to, then you can edit their Yak ID to whatever you want it to be by tapping their name on the list of friends presented in the friends tab and editing in the screen shown there.
Start a conversation with a friend
To start a conversation, go to the 'Chat' tab and tap the compose button in the top left hand corner of the screen.
This will bring up a new screen, with a keyboard, a 'To:' fiend and a text box in which to write the message that you intend to send to your friend.
The cursor should be in the To: field, if it is not then tap just in front of the To: field to place the cursor there.
This field predicts your friends name based on the charactors that you are typing; so if you type 'J' then all of your contacts beginning with 'J' will be shown in a scrollable table beneath the To: field.
Simply tap your friends name to select it and place it in the To: field.
Then you can tap inside the text box to type your message.
If you wish to remove your friend from the 'To:' list just tap there name and hit the backspace key on the keyboard. Then follow the steps above to add the replacement name.
When you have typed your message and selected the friend that you're sending the message to, you simply tap the 'Send' button to send the message off.
Send a message to a group of friends and start a group chat
Simply follow the steps listed above for 'Start a conversation with a friend' but add more than one friend in the 'To:' list, your message will then be sent to all of the parties shown. If any of them are not registered to Yak then they will not receive the message until they register. Messages expire from our server after one week.
Continue to chat after I or a friend has started a conversation
Your new chat will be shown in the 'Chat' tab, along with the last message received on that chat and the time at which you received it. Also shown on the chat tab is a list of those involved in that chat.
Often there are two many people to fit onto one line, so the names section will become scrollable left and right. This is indicated by a small red triangle to the right of the list of participants in the chat. Swipe your finger left to right over these names to scroll and see the entire list of people in the chat. Be careful to swipe over the names rather than the text of the last message otherwise you'll bring up the delete option for the chat history.
To reply or say something else, tap the chat bar in the 'Chat' tab to enter the main chat window.
In here, simply tap the text entry box at the bottom - enter your message and tap send. All other registered people in the chat session will get an instant alert to what you've just said - even if the App is not running.
Our message limit is huge at 2000 characters per message, so you should have plenty of space to say what you want!
Add new people to an existing chat
When you are in the chat window there is an action button on the top right of the screen. Just tap this and choose to add a friend to the chat - you will be shown a list of your contacts to choose from. Simply select one of those to add. All messages sent from then on will reach that person as well as everyone else in the chat.
When you are presented with a list of contacts to add some may be in blue, this indicates that they are already part of the chat session and therefore can not be added twice.
Remove myself from a chat
When you are chatting to more than one person tap the action button in the top right hand corner of the chat window, this will allow you to toggle yourself in and out of the chat and shows your current status in the chat.
Remove a chat session
Whilst on the 'Chat' tab swipe your finger left to right (or right to left) across the bar detailing the chat you wish to delete. A red 'Delete' button will appear and you may tap this to delete the chat history.
Should you wish to back out of the delete just swipe the chat bar again in the opposite direction.
Delete a contact
Go to the friends tab and swipe your finger across their name. This will bring up a red delete button which you can tap to confirm the removal of your friend.
If your friend still uses Yak then you will receive a friend request from that friend, to not hear from them again (unless you choose to add them yourself) go to the requests tab, tap their name and reject their request.
Friends do not know if you've rejected them or not. You just never show as a confirmed friend on their copy of Yak.
Warning: If you have 'Auto Sync Contacts' switched on in the settings menu, then your contact will be added again if they have added you as a friend. Consider switching off auto sync or using block instead.
Edit my own details
Go to the settings tab and tap the 'My Details' option. In here you can only change your name but not your registered Yak ID.
To register again with a new Yak ID tap the 'Reset Login' button and then start Yak again registering with your new desired Yak ID and password. If you register again with your old Yak ID then your contact list will be reloaded from our server.
Once you reset the login all of your chat history is removed.
Turn off sounds and Vibration
Easy, simply go to the chat tab and tap 'Settings', you can set the 'In App' sound and vibration options in here.
Cannot register for Push Notification Services
This is the most common problem and is down to one of a few things:
1. Your phone is jailbroken from a provider. (Apple sometimes block Push to these devices).
2. You are using WiFi and port 5223 is blocked on the network. (Common on iPod Touch).
3. You are using a hackivated phone or something Apple does not approve off.
4. The Apple Push Notification Registration server is busy. (rare).
Please be aware than registration for Push Notification is entirely out of the hands of the App, the app tries to register each time it starts - other than ask Apple for registration the app cannot do more to force it..
In relation to points (1 & 3) Apple may not allow what they see as invalid phones to register with their push notification services. You may wish to Google for fixes to this but be aware that we do not support this course of action - though it's your choice should you really want push services.
If your problem is linked to point 2) then you could try switching to the cellular network in order to register, but it's a good idea to enable this port on your firewall or router for the future if you are able to do so. Especially for the touch which has no cellular connectivity.
See http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3576 if you are using WiFi.
The phone tries to register each time you start the App, so this is how you can retry. If you consistentally cannot register (you'll know this as you won't get any push notifications when the app is not running) then please feel free to contact us.
Notifications MUST be switched on for Yak under 'Settings->Notifications' on the iPhone device.
If notifications fail there is advice to enable Airplane mode for 10 or 20 seconds then disable it; this forces the network to be restarted which may in turn kick start your push notification services again.
Also, make sure that you have the latest version of the iPhone OS installed.
If all else fails then contact your service provider or Apple for further assistance and help in getting your phone to register with Apple for Push Notifications.
You can also try http://www.pushfix.info/
If you have other Apps that work with Push then please let us know.
I do not receive alerts or notifications about new messages
This is more than likely because your phone did not register properly for push notification servers; please refer to the details in 'Cannot register for Push Notification Services' above.
Notifications MUST be switched on for Yak under 'Settings->Notifications' on the iPhone device.
How can I tell if I am registered properly for Push Notifications?
Add yourself as a contact, and message yourself. Your message should come back to you immediately. To test alerts whilst the app is not running message yourself and exit the app immediately! But be quick to exit (exit whilst it's sending for example) as if you wait too long the app will receive the message before you exit and there will not then be any need to notify you when the app is not running.
I receive alerts to my messages a long time after a friend sent them
This is entirely out of our control. We inform the Apple Push Notification servers of the message to send your phone and sometimes they are extremely busy (Just like SMS can be) so your message may take longer to be delivered.
Please be aware this is an increasingly rare event and Apple are continually improving their servers.
What can I do about it if I cannot register for Push Notification?
If you have drawn a blank with the above, your provider and Apple then you can still use the App but it won't be as informative as you may wish.
You'll have to go into the App to check for new messages (It checks when you start it up); once you are in the App it will poll our server every minute to check for new messages. So at most you'll be delayed by one minute.
To check manually just hit the refresh button on any of the relevant screens to check instantly there and then.
You will not receive alert messages when the App is not running until you can get your phone to register with the Apple Push Notification Service.
I am getting send failure messages for media being sent
An update (2.3.1) fixes this and is with Apple for review. It should be out in a few days. It is caused by the phone running low on memory so a fix could be to restart the device.
The text box is hidden by the keyboard
An update (2.3.1) fixes this and is with Apple for review. It should be out in a few days. It is caused by a bug in the code. To get around it you can choose to delete the chat entirely or tapping the 'backspace' on the keyboard until the 'Shift' key lights up on the keyboard - then exit and re-enter the chat. Apologies for this bug.
The timestamps do not appear correct for messages received
You must set the time zone on your iphone correctly.
On the iPhone menu go to:
Settings -> General -> Date & Time
And ensure that the TimeZone is correct and also the actual time itself. This is vital for the received messages to have the correct time of when they were sent by your friend.
What does the choice 'Photos without Edit' mean when sending media?
When you choose a photo via the 'Choose Existing' option you are required to crop it slightly - this is because the video picker needs to be in 'edit mode' in order to trim videos to a sendable size.
''Photos without Edit' gives you the ability to pick and send a photo without having to crop, pan or zoom the photo first - it sends it whole.