Heelo, the first social media app to be made and released in the UK, is now available to download in Apple’s App Store.
A-Level student Khurram Asif, who is only 16, unveiled his creation to over 100 guests, including businesses owners, financiers and students, at the app’s official launch event held at London’s prestigious May Fair Hotel.
The new communication app focussing on simplicity, connectivity and flexibility, will make communication via smartphone accessible for all.
Heelo combines instant messaging, voice calling and video calling as well as the ability to make group video calls for up to twelve people – the maximum with any messaging app.
Development of the app began in 2014 when Khurram had a desire to create a messaging platform that was cost effective and accessible.
When compared to WhatsApp, Heelo uses 234KB less data on a 1GB plan giving an additional 19 minutes of use per day. In monetary terms, this would save users up to 30 per cent on average from their mobile phone bill with the reduction in data usage.
East London-based developer Khurram said: “I’ve been working on the app since 2014, so I’m really pleased users are now able to begin enjoying Heelo.
“The app will continually improve and adapt as users grow and society changes. Planned updates already include a guidance feature for older users, video calling for even larger groups and optional touch ID login.”
With online interaction a large feature of adolescent society, Heelo’s future updates also include e-safety features such as profanity and nudity filters to protect users. As research shows nude photos account for 17 per cent of photographs posted on messaging platforms, this is an especially important feature for a network used by young people.
During the launch, which was organised by Conker Events, guests were able to trial the app’s full range of features for themselves.
Creator Khurram is currently studying for A-Levels in Physics, Maths and Economics and plans to go on to study a degree and masters in Computer Science. His work with apps is recognised internationally having secured a contract with Qatar Airways, although he will not benefit financially from this until he comes of age.
Heelo is free to download now from iTunes. The app will be available for Android users from Autumn. A premium service is available for a small charge, enabling users to remove ads and have access to premium calling.