Now this is a pretty novel modern twist on an old idea – the walkie talkie. Heytell enables easy to-and-fro voice messages between smartphone users, and I have to be honest, it works pretty well! Its pretty easy to understand – User A clicks on User B’s name in the app, then clicks the “Hold to Speak” button, then the app records the message, compresses it, and fires it off to the recipient.
One of the cooler parts of the app is that it is currently available on iPhone and Android – so regardless whether the users of the two operating systems might not agree with each other, they can at least communicate with each other. I tried it out with the guys over at ZaDroid on their devices, and it worked flawlessly between iPhone and Android. On the iPhone it pops up a push notification whenever you have message waiting.
No you might ask – how is this different to Push To Talk? Well – you do not have instantly hear every message, you can listen to it whenever you want, its just waiting in your inbox. As David Perel points out in Charl’s video review of Heytell, the app is also great for quick messaging while driving. Its pretty stupid to send off an SMS, where this app is very easy to use. I can imagine it being quite popular to contact one or two favourites. You can also share your current position with the person you are talking with – think you great that is when you need to meet someone somewhere?
If there is one little bit of advice I can give to the HeyTell developers – please get it on Blackberry as soon as possible, and perhaps also Symbian. If the cross-platform integration works so well with iPhone and Android, it would be even better with Blackberry! Another small point of advice – maybe get some decent user interface specialists in – the icons and buttons have a very “quick and dirty” feel about them. But hey – I am nitpicking here!
Best part – it is free, and it just works! (But there are a few add-ons like voice changers available). You can get it in the Apple Appstore and the Android Marketplace. Next up: Charl Norman’s video review of HeyTell: