Our phones can access the world’s information, record beautiful photos and HD video, and even keep us entertained with thousands of games, yet text messaging with groups of people to this point has been far beyond the capabilities of our humble devices. Unlike email, there is no “reply-all” button for texting, and a single message sent to five people will quickly devolve into five fragmented conversations. Luckily, GroupMe [ iTunes ] is here to save the day.
GroupMe allows you to quickly and easily create temporary or permanent text messaging groups; just add the phone numbers and names to the group, and everybody will be given a phone number to text. All messages sent to this new number will be bounced out to everybody else in the group, keeping the conversation intact. You can even call the number to initiate an instant conference call. It’s hard to explain just how amazing this is until you actually try it. If you’re heading to a public event like a party or music festival, GroupMe can keep all of your friends connected. If you’re collaborating with friends or coworkers on a group project, GroupMe also allows you to send each other quick status updates with no hassle. Seriously, what’s easier than sending a text message?
GroupMe is a free online service, and you don’t even need a smartphone to use it. That said, the GroupMe iPhone and Android apps are real winners, allowing you to quickly skim through your contacts to create groups on the fly. The apps also allow you to send photos, as traditional MMS is not supported by GroupMe at this time. The main takeaway is the seamlessness of the experience; there are no accounts to sign up for, no Facebook to connect, no limit to your number of groups, no pushy ads asking you to upgrade. You can literally go from installing the app to finding a new group in your contacts list in less than a minute.
GroupMe is free, and amazing, so go get it.
Mindless Dribble, GroupMe for iOS, 1.8 MB – Free