I’ve been hoping to come across an app that allows my friends and me to send SMS messages for free. When I stumbled across PingChat! in the internet I knew that it was exactly what I’ve been looking for. Read on to find out more.
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|Reviewed version||Latest version|
Features & Use
After you download the program you will see a welcome window that displays your telephone number as well as an option that will show your Ping! ID (which you have yet to set up). The number is shown so that the server can register it with your Ping! ID.
The Ping! ID setup menu leads you to a registration menu in which you can choose your name. The system will let you know if the name you’ve chosen is available, and if that’s the case the name will automatically pop up in the welcome window. You will then be able to see your ID as well as your number. This means that your ID and your number are now linked and you are reachable via this duo, so you can let your friends know about it. I would recommend that you don’t start spreading the information around on the internet, as there’s always a possibility that other users will usurp your ID, and you probably don’t want to receive random calls from strangers… or do you?
After you quit the welcome window you are connected with the server and your Ping! ID is registered in the worldwide network. In case you aren’t at all familiar with Ping! you can read through the brief explanations (which are in English), but since you’re already reading my test review you might as well just click OK at this point.
You will now find an empty window with two options in the upper right corner. If you click on the figure-shaped button your address book will open up and you can look for the contacts with you want to use Ping! with, provided of course that the other party is also using Ping!, otherwise he or she won’t be able to receive your messages. If you already have a few friends using Ping! you can add them to the list by clicking on the plus sign and the Add button.
If you go back to the empty display you can click on the speech bubble which opens up a window. You can write your message here and send it to one or several person(s).
If you click on Menu on the starting screen three options will appear: Share, Settings, and About.
Share lets you tell contacts from your social networks that you are now a Ping! user. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to make use of this option or not.
You can review the personal data (i.e. Ping! ID, phone number) you’ve saved under Settings. You can also decide whether you want to be informed when you receive new messages by sound or vibration. The last option within Settings tells you if the server is currently available or if there are any problems. I didn’t encounter any difficulties during the testing phase.
About is self-explanatory: it gives you information about what kind of service Ping! is and what it can be used. You can also send an image to your friends which will then be used in chats.
Whilst testing this app I noticed that sending and receiving messages and photos is very fast and easy and there were no problems whatsoever. I received my messages very quickly. And bare in mind that this form of messaging is free of charge, based on WLAN or data connection. I would recommend a data flatrate.
Ping! Chat doesn’t always have to be activated—if you receive a message you will automatically be informed, the key word being Push Notification.
The application was developed for the iPhone but has since then been adapted for other devices and now Android fans can also benefit from it.
The only problem with this app is that the Ping! ID is fixed to one device, which means that if you change phones you have to give up your Ping! ID and you have to start all over again.
I’ve put the app on my homescreen as I plan to use it frequently in the future. I’m really impressed by the idea behind this app as well as with the way that it’s been developed and can whole-heartedly recommend it to our readers. The only glitch is that your buddies have to use Ping! as well in order to get any benefits out of it, but that shouldn’t be much of a problem in today’s technocentric world. Nowadays most people have Ping!-compatible phones. If you need help with this application let us know in the comments below and we’ll do our best.
The only thing that’s missing is a desktop penchant.
Screen & Controls
Controls are simple and all functions can be reached quickly and easily, so that you can send status updates to your friends without much hassle.
The chat history is shown in a clear way and it’s easy to read. Several lines fit on to the display and there’s no need to start scrolling straight away.
The entire app is in English, but – and this may be of interest to our international community members – each option is illustrated by a self-explanatory image. It takes less than five minutes from the time you register till you can start chatting.
Speed & Stability
The app is very fast: it takes less than a second for messages to arrive, and sending pictures doesn’t take very long, either. The server status was always available during testing phase.
The app is free which leads me to presume that there will be lots of Ping! users in the near future. The app is easy to use and takes hardly any time to set up. The fact that it allows you to send and receive messages for free makes it a must-have for me.