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Tag Archives: messaging

How innovations in messaging interfaces could fundamentally improve how we interact with computers (Jonathan Libov/Whoops)

When the weather is bad I take a bus to work. I’m forever grateful to the person at the bus stop who informed me that you can text New York’s MTA service to find out exactly where the bus is and when it’s going to arrive. Sure, an app that put the bus on a map would be more rich in information, but when I got to texting Bus Time I thought, “Thank god I don’t need to download another f------ app for this.” Texting with Bus Time In contrast to a GUI that defines rules for each interaction — rules which, frustratingly, change from app to app — text-based, conversational interactions are liberating in their familiarity. There's only really only one way to skin this cat: The text I type is displayed on the right, the text someone else typed is on the left, and there's an input field on bottom for me to compose a message. There are only so many ways to skin this messaging cat The other primary alternatives to the “There’s an app for that” paradigm are Google Now and Siri today. However, I’m skeptical of a future where we communicate with computers primarily by voice. The visions in 2001: A Space Odyssey and the Her portray voice as the most effortless interaction, but voice actually requires a lot more cognitive and physical effort than pointing with a mouse, typing on a keyboard, or tapping on app icon and then navigating the UI. Consider all those times you’ve exchanged a million texts with someone while making plans when voice would have resolved it much more quickly. Text is often more comfortable even if it’s less convenient. I believe comfort, not convenience, is the most important thing in software, and text is an incredibly comfortable medium. Text-based interaction is fast, fun, funny, flexible, intimate, descriptive and even consistent in ways that voice and user interface often are not. Always bet on text : Text is the most socially useful communication technology. It works well in 1:1, 1:N, and M:N modes.

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Launch Center Pro makers debut Group Text+ and Email+ for iOS (Zac Hall/9to5Mac)

Group Text+ for iPhone & iPad Contrast, the makers of the popular iOS automation app Launch Center Pro , released two new apps today that hope to “speed up tedious tasks on iOS.” Group Text+ and Email+ each include features that make texting (iMessage and SMS) and emailing your favorite contacts or groups of contacts easier and quicker. You can also send text snippets, images, videos, your current location, current playing song, and more quickly both from each app and from other apps with iOS 8 extensions. While Launch Center Pro takes an approach that lets users see the under-the-hood details and offers the ability to tinker with complex actions, Group Text+ and Email+ are refined and polished with a straightforward user interface (Contact Center launched in August  exists somewhere in between but closely resembling LCP). Group Text+ is available today for $1.99 (launch sale pricing) and Email+ is available for $2.99 . Both apps are available for both iPhone and iPad. Like this: Like Loading...

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