New App Helps Users Play PhoneTagAnnouncements — By Melanie McIntyre on April 6, 2011 at 8:00 am
Impromptu meet-ups can be fun, but they also can be a hassle. You’re here, one person is there, yet another person is somewhere else. We often have several modes of communication −phone calls, texts, tweets, check-ins− at our fingertips, but sometimes even those wonders of modern technology aren’t enough to get a group of people in the same place at the same time. Enter PhoneTag.
It’s an application for iPhone and BlackBerry that allows users to share their real-time location and communicate securely and privately for as long as they like with whomever they like.
“PhoneTag will redefine how people stay connected and meet up,” says Kevin Miller, president and co-founder of Dublin-based Ripple Mobile LLC, which developed the app.
“Jim Baich, one of the founders of [Ripple Mobile], had the idea when trying to find a family member in unfamiliar territory one night,” he explains. “It was complicated and required a lot of communication. PhoneTag simplifies this process with an easy way to connect and meet up with friends and family.”
The app is built on two existing and intuitive mobile phone functions: accessing a contact list and sending a text message.
Users select people from their smartphone’s contact list (or type in a phone number), send them a secure text message invite, which contains a unique URL link, and wait for their confirmations. PhoneTag then uses GPS technology to pinpoint the locations of all confirmed participants, as well as any meet-up destination, with directions− in real time.
Users can set a PhoneTag session to run indefinitely or for a specific amount of time, such as the time it takes to commute home so friends and family can see where they are. Additionally, users can group chat with all their session participants for a one-time fee of 99 cents.
“There are some friend-finding products on the market, but PhoneTag allows for spontaneous meet-ups, or planned meet-ups or just staying in touch, on a map,” Miller says. “None of the other products have the versatility of PhoneTag. None of the other products allow multiple sessions, chatting, or directions to each other as part of one package.”
The beta version of PhoneTag was released March 22 and updated on March 31. An Android version will be released in about three weeks.
“We are constantly improving the program and the user experience, so more enhancements are forthcoming,” Miller says.
To date, PhoneTag has been downloaded in more than 30 countries.
To learn more about PhoneTag, visit PhoneTagMobileApp.com.
To learn about OnTime, another app developed by Ripple Mobile, click here.
Melanie McIntyre has served as editorial director of The Metropreneur since its launch in 2010. She previously worked as a staff writer for a business and legal newspaper, where she wrote more than 500 stories about finance and real estate and development in Central Ohio. Since 2008, Melanie has worked on a freelance basis for several local entities, including Columbus Underground, where she is a featured writer. She also blogs about fashion, style, and pop culture at Thoroughly Modern Melly. Melanie is a graduate of The Ohio State University, lives in the Short North, and enjoys reading and running.
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