Ping! for iPad ($2.99) by Gary Fung brings the popular iPhone-to-iPhone messaging service to the iPad in a beautifully optimized form. The iPad version of the app still allows you to send as many messages as you want without incurring any additional costs, and allows you to receive messages at any time (as long as you are connected to the Internet) from other Ping! iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad users.
Ping! for iPad’s new UI makes sending and receiving messages, and keeping track of conversations much easier. Sending messages in both landscape and portrait mode is as simple as tapping the compose button, adding a contact, and typing up a message. The sending message animation is a nice little addition, and once sent, your conversation is threaded.
Conversations can be viewed in both landscape and portrait modes. Landscape mode places all of your contacts in the left side bar and when tapped, your current conversation is displayed on the right. In portrait mode, contacts are displayed across the top of the screen and can be scrolled through with a simple flick. Once again, tapping on a contact will display your conversation.
Although the interface is pretty to look at, there are a couple of bugs/oversights. Sometimes in landscape mode the compose button will completely disappear along with the message compose field at the bottom of the screen. This can easily be fixed by spinning from landscape mode, to portrait, and back to landscape, but it is an inconvenience.
Another small nuisance is the fact that you can’t use the same Ping! ID that you used in the iPhone app in the iPad app. Each device with Ping! installed requires a new ID, which kind of disjoints the whole process.
If you can’t get enough of Ping! on your iPhone or iPod touch, Ping! for iPad is definitely worth the $2.99 even with its minor flaws. The app is easy on the eyes and makes iPhone-to-iPhone, or iPad-to-iPhone, or… let’s just say iDevice-to-iDevice messaging a joy.