Touted as the Blackberry Messenger for iPhone, Ping! promises to deliver instant messages to all of your friends using the app on either iPhone or iPod Touch. We’ve been using Ping! now for a little while and found it to be similar to textfree unlimited, which we use extensively here at AppChatter.com. However, these apps are not the same and do serve slightly different niches.
Unlike Ping!, Textfree Unlimited allows you to actually send a text message (SMS) to any phone number. Ping! requires that anyone you send a message to also has the Ping! app installed – there’s no sending messages to phone numbers here. However, similarly to Textfree, you do setup a Ping! “ID” that you then share with all of your other Ping! using friends. They use the ID that you registered to send you messages, as many as they like.
Ping! supports push notifications and runs on both iPhone and iPod Touch. In our time of using it the app was mostly reliable in sending and receiving messages. What I mean by that is, not all messages that we sent were subsequently received by the other device. Sending to an iPhone seemed to be more reliable than sending to an iPod.
The interface of Ping! is superb! In fact, I prefer the interface to that of Textfree or some of the other texting apps that we’ve used here. It’s simple, and unlike Textfree I don’t confuse it with the actual iPhone texting app (yes, I’ve done that a few times actually).
I’m rather luke-warm on Ping! I’m not sure if the app is worthy of a full AppChatter recommendation or if we shout shun it altogether! As a simple messaging app I believe it could work really well, providing it gets more reliable. The price is right at $0.99 and the interface works well. So for now I’ll leave it in your hands, if you’re looking for a texting app for friends then it’s probably worth a try. If you’re looking to send real SMS then this app is not for you (doesn’t support it).