When I read about the new fone - Chat & Call for Facebook app for the iPhone, I was excited. When I downloaded the app, I wasn't so excited. I tried to download it from iTunes and was having trouble opening it on my iPhone, which has never happened before. When I finally got it working, I found it to be a valuable tool to reach friends and business associates in real time.
The new app has the potential to replace text messaging. You don’t need phone numbers logged into your phone. Instead, you log onto Facebook and all your contacts that are online can chat with you in writing and through VoIP.
Fone was developed by CrispApp, a Hong Kong based mobile application developer. The app is the company’s first application for iPhone, iPod Touch and the web.
“Fone delivers a new dimension to the traditional Facebook experience, offering users an easy, direct and robust way to communicate while online, wherever they are,” said Mac Goldberg, Vice President of CrispApp. “And, future updates to the app, including video capabilities will greatly enhance users’ interactions and social experiences.”
I found the voice activation annoying since every time I tried to reach someone they either didn’t pick up or I got an error message. When I asked their PR person why that happened, he said, “When you see that a friend is online, you can select that friend and choose to call them. A message thru FB IM is sent to that person. Once they click on the included link, you will be able to speak with them through their computer. If they are online using their mobile phone they will need to download the app to be able to speak with you. I’m not sure about the error message but if you send it to me, I’ll help you through it.”
The one thing I loved about this app was the fact that I could talk with my contacts anytime, anywhere!
For example, when I saw my co-workers on line, I was able to share vital information with them that they needed to attend to. It made the app an important tool for me. However, if your contacts aren’t online, you can’t reach out to them. Unlike a text message, they must be logged into Facebook.
With YouTube’s enormous popularity and video chatting becoming more and more acceptable, if CrispApp adds this component to their app, it will be a winner, unless your friends aren’t online.