What am I missing?
You're not missing anything, but that doesn't mean this won't be successful. There were tons of ride ordering/sharing apps before Uber; Uber just had the right interface at the right moment. AIM long predated Whatsapp and Skype. These are just a few examples of not-so-original products that became hugely successful because of some very slight twists on relatively old concepts.
Not being original in concept is far from a disqualifier for success. In all but a tiny fraction of cases, "first mover advantage" is a myth. If your goal is rapid, widespread adoption of your product, it's generally better to iterate on something that has proven acceptance by the market.
In a world where "Yo" gets more than 1 user (and a $10M valuation), I don't discount any app until it's removed from the app store.
Is a setting that [unless turned off] tells people what form of transport I'm using really better at avoiding unwanted intrusions than a status update? Am I going to be more or much less likely to leave it on in the background in case any of my friends choose to come and socialise with me if everything is being recorded in the background?
I can certainly imagine edge cases where those capabilities would come in useful, but it sounds like they're more likely to generate negative hype and corporate bans than encourage adoption.
People should never expect an instant reply to any IM, text, or phone call. The receiver's status is totally irrelevant. Society is going to hell from this type of technology.
Why is synchronous, remote communication disallowed? You seem to have ruled out instant responses to any form of remote communication, which greatly impedes, well, communicating. If I have a chain of questions that rely upon previous answers, it's either going to be woefully inefficient to send as asynchronous communication (I have to enumerate all possible questions, which also means all possible answers to previous questions) with respect to either data (one massive email) or time (one question per email, wait for response).
>The receiver's status is totally irrelevant.
Not at all. If I need information that any one of 5 of my contacts have, I can narrow down who I need to ask based on status rather than sending out 5 questions and getting 5 responses. Alternatively, I could ask them one at a time and wait 5-10 minutes for a response before moving on, but that's a large time sink and doesn't scale well at all. A simple available/busy goes a long way.
"Why is synchronous, remote communication disallowed?"
No one said that... I am just saying it's the choice of the receiver of the message when to reply. To many people today seem to have the expectations if can send a message under a second they should receive a reply back in under a second. Ummmm No.
"Not at all. If I need information that any one of 5 of my contacts have, I can narrow down who I need to ask based on status rather than sending out 5 questions and getting 5 responses."
So your contacts status is needed for your convenience? What about theirs?
You sound young and really narcissistic. It's not all about you. To make it more clear for you... It's none of your business what I am doing and I will reply back when I f*cking feel like it.
That makes you the minority view.
Status's in IM apps were hugely popular, that you are unable to see the value to others indicates a lacking of either imagination or empathy on your part.
> People should never expect an instant reply to any IM, text, or phone call. The receiver's status is totally irrelevant.
If my SO is waiting for me to come home to turn on the oven, then being able to see that I am driving, versus calling me and having me not pick up (I typically do not answer the phone when driving), is a huge value add.
If I have one last thing I want my friend to pick up at the store, seeing "walking" versus "driving" lets me know if it is futile to call him.
These features are useful. Are they something that I'd always want to share with everyone? Of course not, but in the right situations they add value to communication.
So what? I was giving my opinion... You do realize the majority view has been often wrong though out history?
"Status's in IM apps were hugely popular, that you are unable to see the value to others indicates a lacking of either imagination or empathy on your part."
I didn't say it may not have value for others but once again it has no value for me. The last thing I want to do is update my status in my IM/chat program every time I logon.
Your scenarios are totally irrelevant... In either case why does it matter if the receiver is driving? They could send a text or leave a VM if don't pick up (which would then assume maybe driving or just busy). What do these scenarios have to do with my point the sender shouldn't expect an instant reply to every communication?
My remarks were about personal communications which this app does not seem to be about. I do feel sorry for people in jobs who do have to reply at all hours of the day. That's not for me...
I recall Pogue's article on walkie-talkie apps (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/06/technology/personaltech/ze...), and how even the best apps had the most god-forsaken interface design.
Being incumbent in a space doesn't mean you do a great job at something. Whether this makes Talko interesting and useful remains to be seen (I'm reserving excitement personally), but I definitely think there's a lot of room for improvement that Talko is taking advantage of.
so to be last mover here they probably need
>a product that is 10x better than a combo(or stand alone instance) of SMS/messaging apps/email/facetime/phone etc
>widespread user adoption
>a revenue stream
It seems cool, but it is a tough space to dominate.
To continue your analogy: How do you prevent yourself from losing your car keys again?
and the right branding and a huge amount of backing and a giant pair of balls.
You can (voluntarily) share this with the click of a button, at least on Android (paperclip->Location), which I think is the best solution.
But anyway, I agree. Sounds a lot like maybe a new feature or two to Hangouts (the long term rescind feature sounds nice, and Hangouts doesn't have an easy way to record an audio clip from within the app and attach it the way you would an photo, but I'm not convinced that is as important as Ray Ozzie thinks it is, and even if it is it would be trivial to implement on top of what already exists), not some grand new product market, especially when it doesn't even include video support yet while Hangouts does. If you buy into his theory of there being something "lost" with text, surely a lot is also lost when you lose body language with just voice.
- if you send a message to someone offline, and you log off, he will receive it only when both of you will be online and if you use the same device you used when you sent the message. If it was too long ago he might miss it.
- if you use multiple devices with skype, you will have to read all everytime you change device
so even if you've heard of skype, I can get why there's so much hype for a well-crafted product like whatsapp, but for calls.
Skype and Hangouts are synonymous with video calling/conferencing, and that's it. They may have more features tucked away somewhere, but it's not what they are.
I had the same idea of Hangouts until switching to android.
On android Hangouts easily becomes the SMS app and instant messenging app as well. After a few days, I would go to Hangout and then think about how (voice ? IM ? SMS ? video call?) I'd like to contact the person.
A bit in the same way Talko wants to be a hub for the different channels.
Now that I think about it -- I did one type of store-and-forward voice+ messaging that I did enjoy somewhat. When a friend of mine went to Japan as an exchange student two? years ahead of me in ... 1995? We exchanged cassette tapes via snail-mail. Each usually was kind of a mix-tape of voice diary/message and some music or other stuff and was accompanied by a letter, maybe with news clippings, pictures etc (I think, it's been a while). It's really the only exchange of voice messages I can remember enjoying.
Perhaps the clue is in the fact that the media has to be part of, or inform the message. Modern (phone) voicemail is usually not (in my experience) actually made as store and forward, but more of a fall-back because synchronous communication wasn't possible. Generally if someone wants to forward me an asynchronous message -- I much prefer text. Either sms or email (or a letter) -- to voicemail. That said, if someone mailed me a cd (or audiofile on a thumbdrive) I'd probably listen to it, and have a rather different experience. Not sure if someone emailed me an audio-file. I'm a bit of a die-hard plain-text email person. I'll stretch to image-attachments, though. But I still feel we got oversold on the idea of multimedia, and it remains a bit of a "fad". I do realize I might be an outlier, though :-)
So maybe an app like this can help inform the media choice, and by virtue of that make store-and-forward voice messaging not-suck. As long as people use them as "voice logs" (like videologs) or something, and not as a means to transmit information. Which is just awful, IMNHO.
And I'll probably still prefer my plain-text -- but thinking about it, I could see it being a useful form of communication after all.
Apologies for rambling, but I think there might be traces of an interesting thought in there.
Unless it works differently, somehow.
I think you are missing the part where he says that any participant can rescind at any time.
Imagine - you break up with your partner, and he/she deletes the other side of the conversation.
This may not be a problem in work settings, but it has the potential to cause a lot of pain in personal conversations.
It lives up to the hype. It's innovative in terms of an app that perfectly integrates synchronous and asynchronous communication at that same time. What's much more impressive is that it's one of the few pieces of software where I can confidently say It Just Works. The level of quality in every interaction and experience is carefully thought out and executed. It is modern enough that my girlfriend and I communicate with it exclusively. It's simple enough to facilitate discussion with >6 members of my extended family at the same time on a daily basis. That includes people ages 10 through >70.
I do communicate more with my family now than ever before. The key is the group aspect and being asynchronous. It's not pushy like a phone call where you're forced to make conversation with a single person. With Talko, we're always talking about a particular subject, usually with lots of pictures. I can be super engaged if I want to, or I can sit back and just watch it happen. What's awesome is that we all are experiencing it, even the people who miss it.
Talko's UX is helpful for guiding people to make the right decision about whether to talk about something in a 'new call', or to continue talking in an existing thread. This solves the issue of split conversations in the same thread, and if you want to talk about something for a long time (like your sports team every week), it's easy to bring up old conversations and continue them. Logged conversations aren't novel but are still great for nostalgia.
I've been happy to see them improve a lot in just the time I've been beta testing. They completely revamped some critical user flows which made a huge difference in usability. I know there are more awesome things ahead.
Give it a shot, and if you don't like it feel free to refute me! I am giving my honest opinion and haven't been asked to speak my mind from the Talko team in any way.
Edit: Forgot to mention that the voice quality is ridiculously crisp both in playback and realtime. It's much more clear than a call.
Is the audio quality good when on the move? I've played with a few WebRTC solutions on a mobile and all of them call quality problems on mobile.
I'm curious to try a Whatsapp-like experience with voice, but neither my family nor I use the Whatsapp voice note feature. I think it's because recorded voice is just awkward.
Sounds like a next-generation WhatsApp. I use WhatsApp mostly asynchronously, and occasionally with group chats with colleagues/friends. At a night out we had a group chat where we sent occasional photos of the night. It was a kind of casual inclusive running commentary.
This sounds like it makes that side of things more useful and accessible. I'm interested to give it a try. :)
Because the last thing on earth is for my mom to know i'm available for a phone call when really i just don't want to talk to her.
Even if you prefer talking through a tiny speaker to texting, i simply cannot see this product taking off except with the technophobic. There is a reason i prefer texting, i'll return your message on my own schedule, i'll think more about my responses, and i'll make damn well sure that the person on the other end doesn't know i'm ignoring them when i am.
However, referring to the audio recording and playback capability of an iPhone as "talking through a tiny speaker" seems in itself pretty technophobic. Furthermore, your instant rejection of this idea furthers that concept. Typing on a tiny smooth keyboard isn't exactly the definition of the ultimate fulfillment of our technological capability. Regarding replying on your own schedule, I'm fairly certain that's built in functionality, to reply to a thread as you wish via voice, text, image, etc.
All that being said, I'm not sold on the idea and unsure whether or not I'd use it.
There's something to that, though; for all the incredible advancements in mobile phone technology over the past decade, it's shocking how terrible the actual audio quality of the average mobile voice call really is. Even the most basic phone on a purely landline call sounds better.
And I think it's something many people have forgotten. It wasn't all that long ago that long distance companies (remember those?) used to actually compete over who had the best voice quality. "You can hear a pin drop" - remember that? Maybe not; I imagine these days many young people have never even used a landline.
I do think that poor audio quality is a decent part of why so many of us hate actually talking on the phone these days. Having to strain to hear, asking people to repeat themselves, accidentally talking over one another, all these things make for a much more awkward experience. And you just don't get that same feeling of connection or illusion of sharing the same space when you lose the subtle nuances of someone's voice.
That aside, i don't see why any reasonable person with any kind of social life whatsoever would give up this much info for the sake of receiving slightly better timed calls.
Seems like an awful lot of privacy to give up.
"I see you're at home so I know you're not out doing something, why aren't you responding to me???" - From a parent, significant other, boss, etc. Society in general doesn't really "accept" the notion of I'm busy doing my own thing, or I simply have no interest in talking to you right now.
If I couldn't disable that, the app would be a non-starter for me.
Which is really the main point of working from home. The freedom to work without the needless pressure and thus getting more done.
But yes. I also don't see why we have to discuss an obvious advertorial ... I guess that's what passes for "new tech" these days, whatever has a big enough army of flaks behind it.
The iPhone might be the exception that proves the rule. The original iPod was OS X only, didn't have as much space as a nomad, etc. But people used it organically and pretty soon it took over.
The iPhone would probably have been Samsung's instead of Apple's without the whole iPod/iTunes/Movies business.
Why not encrypt them? Convenience seems like an excuse. If your monetization is focused on business users, offer them security. I think it will be really hard to succeed as an post-Snowden US company without offering encryption.
I really wish we would leave this culture of patenting behind.
The filing can come, and then they can spend a decade trying to build it without worrying about a big company spending 100x and building it in 1/10th of the time.
The self-centered egotistical notion that these ideas are something unique to one inventor as opposed to the reality where the vast majority (though certainly not all) of ideas are just obvious consequences of timing and everything that came before is really, really goofy and it is crazy that we award the first person who happens to legally file such ideas a nearly 2 decade monopoly on them.
It wasn't supposed to be like this. Read the writings of Thomas Jefferson who very clearly had a much higher bar in mind for awards of patentability than the rubber-stamping we do today:
Just a couple of examples, but pretty much whenever Jefferson writes about patentable ideas he always stresses how high the bar must be on both real novelty of the invention and high social value of the invention.
If he had any notion of what patents would turn into today I'm absolutely positive he would have violently opposed the inclusion of them to the Constitution.
Unless it supports all three mobile platforms or has published a full-featured API (or protocol specs) from day 1, any proprietary communication app is a non-starter for me (Hangouts included).
How one is supposed to promote it over WhatsApp, Telegram, LINE, and the likes? Hey, this new cool app does almost the same thing, but it's not available to the majority of your contacts!
In the real world, popular apps may be walled gardens, but they are cross-platform. Whatsapp supports 7 mobile platforms, Skype supports 6 platforms (5 mobile), LINE supports 9 platforms (6 mobile), Viber supports 8 platforms (6 mobile), WeChat supports 12 platforms (9 mobile variants), Telegram supports 7 platforms (3 mobile), Kik supports 3 mobile platforms, even Google Hangouts supports 2 mobile platforms. How an iPhone-only app can be considered seriously?
> 1. Early-stage startup teams cannot afford to handle the hardware fragmentation that plagues Android.
You have a full stack of iOS devices, too, maybe even more expensive. It's a point if you develop quite near hardware features or want to do pixel-perfect designs without auto-layout, but that's difficult for iOS, too, these days. A messenger app is really not that device specific.
> 2. Study after study demonstrates iOS users are not only growing in key geographies, but are more valuable customers.
If it's about hype and money, you might be right, but if you just need users with a much more social diversity, Android is likely on your side.
> 3. iPhone 5c and future low cost models will likely steal share from Android relative to yesterday.
Dunno. You say "likely", too, so why is that even considered as a top 3 argument?
Nevertheless, the most important point here is: It's a messenger. For teams. You don't want split between iOS and Android devices and Talko itself sees this as negative point:
> (The corporate beta testers I spoke with sighed wistfully when reporting that a couple of team members could not participate because they didn’t use iPhones.) “We can’t build a business on this until we have all of the above,” says Ozzie, who wanted to make sure his engineers aced the iPhone first; [...]
iMessage's strength is its SMS fallback (still, who wants to send expensive text messages these days), but Facebook, WhatsApp etc. are generally much more used.
1) Absolutely agree.
2) Extra marks for totting up those cross-platform stats. My opinion of Viber went up (even though I'm an open-source head) when I saw that they have a Linux desktop client. Same goes for Skype back in the day.
(German is also incredibly frustrating to type on a phone, as there are more ways to compose words than autocorrect could ever possibly know.)
I am appalled when in other regions in China where they do not use pinyin, watching people spending over a minute trying to tell their friend that they just got on the train.
It is strange watching people have entire conversations using Voice Clips.
I disagreed with it more until she showed me the (hidden!!) option to make them not play back through speakerphone, which WeChat, of course, defaults to.
Why a pure messaging app (like Whatsapp) wants to do voice, and why a pure voice app (like Viber) started doing messaging. Perhaps, both are needed within the same app to make it all work - but then why don't they do email? Why not have an app that calls, messages and mails? :)
Well smartphones are probably that app - they are a great communication tool just because they enable SMS, email and voice call together (all in the same seamless package).
Would love to get some thoughts about where you think this app sits in the communication app spectrum - what need it fulfills (I can't see using it, because it does nothing for me). But generally speaking, I'd love to discuss communication apps! :)
Why are people always hell bent on changing the way we communicate? I tried the app and it does not offer enough to keep me using it.
XMPP and SIP.
And BTW, Whatsapp is non-federated XMPP. The Twitter protocol is HTTP, its API is documented and clones exist; like Whatsapp it is non-federated.
Our team used Hipchat for a while, which was notable because it had a button for 1-click voice or video calls... a button no one ever clicked.
My business consultant, a retired SV engineer & entrepreneur, has been incessantly reminding me, "make that one a phone call, not an email," for four years now. And he's absolutely right. Many situations jut work better when people can hear your voice and v/v. I feel I can communicate far more effectively over the phone in many cases than I can via email. Any time you could do with some extra empathy, e.g. during negotiations, introductions, heavy procrastination, tense moments--you pick up the phone and the extra boost is like getting free money compared to email.
Writing gives me time to think and to edit and to find the odd word that eludes me.
I do realise that not everybody feels this way. Many of my friends hate writing and will basically ignore important emails as if they had never existed.
I guess our brains are wired differently.
I often hire subcontractors and I cannot tell you how much I wish they would just call me when they fall behind, rather than emailing or texting about everything. It turns a bad situation into an even worse situation, where on at least one side of the conversation, there is an extra question mark or exclamation point behind every piece of punctuation. In contrast, some of the most effective people I know will call whenever there is any kind of a speed bump, because they recognize the potential advantages of a voice conversation. It's there for anybody to use, and it doesn't really care if we use it or not, but the phone has its advantages.
That's great and all, but you're now just talking about you and your thoughts - the core of a publication, not the 'us' that's the basis of conversation.
You're talking about your needs and your comfort level. What about the needs and comfort of the recipient/reader?
Maybe it'd be an intersting experiment to have a group of people go into one of two booths -- one with a smart phone/hand set -- one rigged like a recording studio -- and ask them to record an imaginary message to "... eg: a family member" -- and see how/if the messages differed?
Also see my comment up-thread about snail mail and cassette tapes.
A voice message basically does not have any of that.
Certainly it will have some advantages over text, but a voice message isn't a phone call.
Back in the day we'd hang on party confs and chat online at the same time, and you'd idle for weeks at a time, never disconnecting, always logging the convo. So you could get someone's attention via voice, talk about the voice call on chat, send links and pictures, or private messages, etc, and go back to everything except the voice stuff.
We don't need 'voice' or one particular thing, we need all of these things in a continuum of historical communication of all mediums. A very thin personalized Facebook feed of every communication, essentially. Just show everything everybody has said, done or shared in chronological order and make it easy to read. That's all anybody needs.
Isn't this why we don't use voice? Voice is so rich and emotionally expensive. note: I haven't tried the product but I guess I am always a bit skeptical of voice products.
But then I saw "iPhone Only".
I agree that startups should stick to one platform when they are starting out, except when your product relies on the network effect to be useful.
Couple that with a big PR launch and its a failure from the start.
The product is irrelevant to a large portion of the world and handicapped to anyone with friends on Android.
Granted, open isn't enough: wikis were a great idea, and while wikipedia might be one of this age's wonders of the world -- both stand on top of HTML and HTTP.
This is about as exiting as an office suite. Any old office suite. Not that people don't use office suites, it's just that it's broken tech, that locks people in caves. Bigger caves, yes, but still caves.
I wonder what had happened if they'd just made all of Lotus Notes Free software, rather than bundle it around in various zombie reincarnations?
If you're not in my contact list, I do not answer the phone unless previous arrangements have been made. I might listen to the voicemail in a couple minutes, assuming you leave a message. Really old people (white/blue hair) will not leave messages which makes for an interesting protocol breakdown.
I also don't do the ankle bracelet / house arrest thing, so people leave me a message on my phone and their brains explode that it took me 12 hours to notice and respond back. The very concept that I can own and pay for a smartphone but not look at it for half a day is literally unthinkable to them.
Thats the new world.
Then again, I very rarely get unknown phone calls.
I also rarely listen to voicemail. Anyone who leaves me a voicemail is nearly guaranteed to be someone who doesn't know me, and doesn't know that they can contact me in one of a dozen different ways that I'm more likely to notice before I even see the voicemail icon.
Here is the deal breaker: here is no easy way to edit sound so far on phone, nor computer. It means no editorship, implies less or no control. Users demand control over their own contents. It's the ultimate user psychology.
Ignoring its influence and importance is a sign of youth perhaps (making some assumptions here).