Friday, September 23, 2011

Pinch Your Friends: A Cross Platform Messaging App for BlackBerry

Posted By Ray Nicolini

We have seen our fair share of cross messaging platforms in the past such as KiK, and Live Profile. We see services like these increase especially with people jumping from BlackBerry to Android and Apple products. Most users want to have a BBM like experience, or a way to communicate with family and friends who may live in other countries at no cost, or may not want to just pay for SMS charges from their wireless provider.
For those interested say hello to Pinch. Pinch has developed a cross platform messaging service with a little bit of a twist. You can talk to other friends or family across the world without having to pay international SMS rates, or having an SMS bundle; because Pinch uses data only, or will work when connected to WiFi. They have also made some pretty nice upgrades to their application (that is also available not only to BlackBerry users, but to Apple Iphone, and Android users) such as adding location and leader board concepts to their application. (something similar to foursquare)
When  getting started on Pinch, Pinch will go through contacts to see if their is anyone in your contacts who is currently using Pinch, and add them to your friends list in Pinch. You can invite more friends through facebook or through twitter. After inviting friends you cans et up a profile picture, set a status, and you are all set.
There are a lot of nice features that pinch offers. One thing that caught my attention is the message notification system. You can tell if your message was sent or not, which reminds me of the BBM experience. (D-delivered and R-received) Another feature is the ability to activity update. It lets your friends know what you are doing which reminds me of twitter. I have also notice that Pinch has a character limit of 139 characters. (looks like they will integrate with twitter in a future update) Also, Pinch has incorporated a point system for completing various tasks (similar to foursquare) such as: inviting friends, updating location, miles you have traveled, updating activities, and for “pinching” friends or receiving “pinch”es from friends.
Overall, I really enjoyed using Pinch. It is very easy to get started and to use. The point system, ability to update what you are doing really makes this app a lot of fun to use. Of course being able to communicate with family and friends outside of the country you live in is a big plus. However, if you are on a limited data plan you may want to watch your usage, so you don’t go over; but if you are on an unlimited plan you have nothing to worry about. So if you are using a BlackBerry head over here to pick up the app for FREE, and get pinching!
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