WhatsApp (TMA Review), one of the most popular messenger apps for the iPhone, has dropped in price to free (previously $0.99). For those of you not familiar, here’s a quick rundown courtesy of iTunes:
WhatsApp messenger is a cross platform smartphone messenger currently available for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Nokia phones. The application utilizes push notifications to instantly get messages from friends, colleagues and family. Switch from SMS to WhatsApp to send and receive messages, pictures, audio notes, and video messages at no cost. All features are included without the need for extra in-application purchases.
Aside from the features and the fact that it doesn’t cost you a dime to send/receive messages, the best part about the app is that a good number of iOS users are already on it; in fact, you’d be surprised at how many of your friends are whatsappin’ once you get set up (which takes a minute or so). No word on how long the freebie will last until, so be sure to grab it while the deal’s still on.
With social networking now so heavily integrated into our lives, trying to keep up with all your accounts can be quite the daunting task. And with so many different apps out there for the various services, one can grow quite tiresome of exiting one and entering the other repeatedly throughout the day. Enter the folks from Taptivate with their social tool Friends Plus. Positioned as a one stop shop, Taptivate hopes to help simplify and streamline your social network experience.
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.
Jawbone, renowned makers of some of the most uniquely designed bluetooth headsets around, has just entered the iOS market with the release of their first app Thoughts. It’s essentially a push-to-talk type app that lets you send and receive voice messages to other Thoughts users – all for free.
Jawbone THOUGHTS lets you send quick voice messages to friends and groups. It combines the speed of texting, the collaboration of email, and the emotion of voice – all in one. Share whatever comes to mind – instantly – with anyone or save your Thoughts as drafts to review and send later.
The upside to the app is that even if the person you’re sending “thoughts” to doesn’t have it installed on their iDevice, they’ll still receive an email or SMS with a link to your message. And Thoughts will even transcribe new messages into text if you can’t listen to them at any given moment (like when your wife needs your undivided attention). It comes with 10 free transcriptions and more can be purchased within the app ($0.99 and $2.99 packages). If you’ve always wanted to check out walkie-talkie like apps on the iPhone, this certainly looks promising. Video promo after the cut…
Jawbone, Jawbone Thoughts, 10.4 MB – Free
Everybody uses avatars. Whether you IM, troll forums, or even comment on this review, social networking avatars are everywhere. That little image is your greeting to the world. For some, avatars are just small images of their real selves, for others they are used to show their love or support for various things. Whatever the case may be, we all use them – that is unless you want to blend into the background. The WeeMee Avatar Creator that we announced in February is a great avatar creator that’s been getting some much-deserved attention.
SHAPE Service’s IM+ Pro app (TMA Review), easily one of the best instant messaging apps for the iDevice, has just received an update (v4.3) and it now has retina support, ensuring that all your chat sessions will look nice and crisp on the iPhone 4. Here’s what’s new in this version:
- New themes and wallpapers
- Hi-res graphics for iPhone 4
- Full VoiceOver support
- Setting own display picture from iPhone 4 front camera
- Improved contact search
Aside from supporting a slew of messaging services out there (MSN, gChat, ICQ, AIM, Skype etc), IM+ Pro is also a universal app, meaning that it’ll work on both your iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad after a single purchase. If you’re still looking for a robust and feature filled IM app, IM+ Pro is as good a choice as any on the App Store (you can also try out their free IM+ Lite).
Twitepad is a Twitter client designed for your shiny new Jesus tablet, made to maximize what you can see and do on the popular social networking service. It offers column after column of content (similar to what you’ve seen in apps like TweetDeck) allowing you to keep up to date on all your twitter content in one fell swoop. Read on to see if i can sum up my experience in 140 or less.
Apple seems to be on a roll of late with App Store app lists. First came The Best Games You’ve Never Played, a roundup of hidden gems that haven’t quite burned up the app charts. Now they’ve released the Awesome iOS 4 Apps list, a collection of apps and games that have been updated to take advantage of iOS 4′s new features, like support for the Retina Display and Multitasking/Fast App Switching. Here are some notable that have made the list:
- Apple Inc. , iMovie – $4.99
- Element Collection , The Elements for iPhone 4 – $9.99
- Software Cellular Network Ltd, Truphone – Free
- PopCap Games, Plants vs. Zombies (TMA Review) – $2.99
- PopCap Games, Bejeweled 2 + Blitz – $2.99
- Steve Sprang, Brushes – iPhone Edition – $4.99
- Marco Arment, Instapaper (TMA Review) – $4.99
- TomTom , TomTom U.S.A. – $49.99
- Sophia Teutschler, Articles – $2.99
- Gogo Apps, Inc., Tap Tap Revenge 3 – Free
Now I haven’t tried all 42 apps on the list, but I don’t think I’d consider all of them to be awesome. I suppose it’s all a matter of personal preference and interests (and of course, apps that actually have been updated for iOS 4 already). The entire Apple roundup can be found right here on iTunes.
Pushme.to, a superb messaging app for the iDevice, has become even more versatile thanks to the latest 2.0 update. Much like Ping!Chat and WhatsApp Messenger, Pushme.to allows users to send and receive text messages for free right from their iPhone/iPod Touch (think SMS without the added cost). With the 2.0 update however, Pushme.to further distances itself from the pack with the added ability to chat with anyone via a web browser. That’s right, the other party doesn’t even need to have an iPhone or the app to carry out the real-time chat session. All they need to do is visit pushme.to/yourusernameon a browser and bam!, you’re ready to go. I’ve tested the service quite a bit and it works like a charm. Throw in push notifications and you’ve just made it that much easier for friends and family to send you a quick message or two. Some of the other new features include:
- Free registration for web (non iPhone) users
- Completely redesigned, messages organized per conversation
- Ability to link Pushme.to usernames to iPhone contacts
- Avatars support both on the web, and from iPhone contacts
(automatically uploaded to the web when linked from iPhone)
- Softer incoming message sound
Best of all, Pushme.to is now FREE for a very limited time (down from $2.99). If SMS and staying in touch is your thing, I HIGHLY recommend that you download the app now and snap up your unique username. It’s already become one of my favorite apps.
BeejiveIM , one of the most popular and fully featured instant messaging clients for the iPhone/iPod Touch, is now (finally) available for the iPad. It’s been the go-to IM app for many on the iDevice due to it’s many features, which include:
- Reliable and efficient networking: be connected 24/7, and it’s gentle on your battery.
- Be connected even after you close the application. Get notified instantly when you get a new message with Push Notifications.
- Works with multiple IM networks, multiple accounts per network: AIM®/iChat, MSN®, Yahoo!®, GoogleTalk®, Facebook IM, ICQ®, Jabber, and MySpace IM.
- Send and receive files, including pictures and voice notes. View and forward received documents.
- Desktop-like instant messaging with all of your IM buddies from a single intuitive user interface.
With a shortage of premium IM apps for the iPad at the moment, it’s definitely good to see the release of BeejiveIM for iPad. However, unlike BeejiveIM’s biggest competitor IM+ (which is a universal app that works for ALL iDevices), BeejiveIM for the iPad will set you back another $5.99 (currently on sale). Loyal users of the IM app who now own an iPad likely wouldn’t mind ponying up a few extra bucks, but still, it’d been nice if it were a free download for existing customers.