If you haven’t taken a look at Palringo recently, you should. Way back at the beginning of 2008, we took a close look at the mobile instant messaging service and thought it had the basics in place to make it a must-have, top-of-the-pack service offering. We had some real concerns about the user interface: Namely that it wasn’t that intuitive — although, it did make sense if you sat and looked at it for a while. The other issue was openness. It’s all very well being able to click-open-camera-take-picture and woosh, have it uploaded into a particular conversation or room — the issue for me was getting that photographic data off the Palringo system and on to, say, Flickr — or somewhere else.
I wanted my Palringo data to be exported out to Twitter, Ping.fm and perhaps even as a daily digest post here on the Mobile Industry Review. These kind of things are, I understand, in the works.
The real focus however has been on location. They’re going nuts with it. To the point that they’ve applied for a patent for their bluetooth-wifi-gsm/operator-GPS location service. Kerry, the CEO, demonstrated the service to us today and it’s a piece of genius.
So much so that James Whatley left the interview half way through to go and install it. We rate Palringo *that* much. Indeed that’s why they won the recent Best IM Service award here at Mobile Industry Review.
We’d like to see a bit more two-point-ohish stuff. Bind it with the likes of Ping.fm — in fact, Palringo should buy Ping.fm and open themselves out to kill Twitter.
Even back in January we were confidently asserting that Palringo has/had the potential to knock the basic text update/IM services such as Twitter on the head. It used to wind me up chronically when I got Twitter messages from people saying words to the effect of ‘I’ve taken a picture. Click here to see it: http://some.url’.
It really pointed to just how shit our collective infrastructure is when folk were sending URLs around as Twitter messages.
It pointed to the huge need for inline images. You want the ability to take a pic and send it into one of your lifestreams and have folk be able to see it immediately. That’s what Palringo will do.
And a lot, lot more. How about in-line audio messages sent into your lifestreams? Yup. It’s smart and it’s right there waiting for you.
However the new location based services Kerry was demonstrating to us blew our socks off. Expect to see a Blackberry and Windows Mobile service with this included in the next few weeks.
If you haven’t downloaded Palringo recently, get hold of it and see what you make of it.
I still think it needs a total rework from a user interface viewpoint both on-handset and (heavily) online. But it’s getting there and swiftly moving to a hugely powerful proposition.
We’ll have Kerry’s video interview up online shortly — most probably in this week’s MIR Show (Week 43) going live on Monday.
Download Palringo by pointing your browser to www.palringo.mobi.