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Instant picture conversations with Radar – the Application of the Week

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This week’s application is Radar, a phenomenally well put together service that enables picture conversations online and on-the-go.

If photo sharing site Flickr is Web 2.0, then Radar is Mobile 3.0. Or something like that… The entire service has been conceived to run from your mobile, not as a bit-part of the overall experience. Yes there’s an online element for those sat at desks, but Radar is all about mobility. You can easily upload photos from your handset and all your subscribed friends can instantly see — and crucially, comment — on the photo. You can then easily see who’s been commenting and reply back and, before you know it, get into a dialogue with your friends about the picture. All by phone. That’s the way to do it.

If you’re not up for making a public comment on a photo (e.g. “Is that the guy from accounts that you slept with?” — a friend of mine recently posted this on another friend’s Flickr, thinking it was an email-response form, not good) you can make Whispers between each other — effectively private comments. Smart.

You can get Radar on your mobile web browser very easily. Radar.net and you’re done. But for the enterprising types, there’s a java application with support for a range of handsets — here’s a look:

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I particularly like the immediacy of the service – it’s getting huge usage from the upwardly mobile generation-now crowd across the planet. It’ll work with picture messages — all you need to do is text a picture to your unique radar address (something.something@radar.net) and they’ll do the conversion right-away. Or, if your phone/operator offers it, simply send the picture in an email. You can also enter the letter ‘P’ in the subject of your mms/email to specify that you want the image immediately set to private.

I was playing with it this morning with my new Helio Ocean handset. Had I been besieged by friends on Radar that morning, I’d have got a notification on my AIM account (which is also live the Helio handset – Radar sends email updates as well) to tell me that my friends were uploading pictures or adding new comments. This is a very useful feature. I keep forgetting to check out friends’ Flickr pages and I often miss Facebook galleries if I haven’t logged in recently.

It’s not just pictures though — you can whack video to Radar. (Note to self, I must check if they’re connected with ShoZu.)

I’m going to try and meet Radar’s CEO, John Poisson, shortly, to find out more.

If you’d like to add me as a friend on www.radar.net, get me at username ‘ew4n’.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

9 replies on “Instant picture conversations with Radar – the Application of the Week”

last time i checked,the only way to upload photos was via email which is lame since that increases the size of your photos up to 40% due to mime encoding

I hope that the java client now allows upload. i might even use it then 🙂

I’ve met both Shozu and Radar over the last 18 months. Unless anything has changed they are independent of each other. Both are great services although they have focused on different aspects.

Hey, thanks Ewan. We don’t, in fact, have any connection with ShoZu, though some Radar users use the ShoZu utility to upload to Radar. Drop me a line anytime if you’d like to talk more.

And Roland, we’ve supported MMS upload to Radar since day one and it’s simply the fastest and most efficient way to get that picture you ~just took from your phone to Radar, where your friends can share in that moment immediately.

This real-time sharing of experiences is what Radar is all about, and while we’ll continue building more and more ways to share to and from Radar, this remains the best solution for many users.

Have fun.

MMS in Canada is lame and only allows you to upload 300K images. My N95 images are generally over 300K and up to 1MB in size so MMS is not a solution. It’s cheaper to do it over IP. I would like Radar to support upload over IP instead of just MMS and email which are very lame in the mobile gh*tto of Canada 🙂

I hear you Roland. Many Radar users are totally fine with the comparatively lower image size allowed by MMS: the focus is on quickly sharing experiences, rather than photographs.

That said, uploading over IP will be made available where we can make a user experience that’s reasonable and reliable. The good news is that Canada is one of those places.

In the mean time, you can certainly use the ShoZu utility to send your pictures to your Radar posting address, especially if your phone can reasonably do this in the background.

Enjoy.

great john, i’ll give it a try via shozu, who knows maybe some of my friends will use it someday!

the only thing preventing me from using it since it works with shozu, is that none of my friends are on it, they are all on facebook and shozu and uploading their photos there and being canadians they all have not so great phones (from a photo and video point of view) and can’t afford the high cos of mobile data in canada

ah the slings and arrows of being an early adopter in Vancouver!

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