September 5, 2013
No, Apple hasn’t resurrected its long forgotten iTunes social network. The Ping app is a new beast entirely. The free app for iPhone turns regular emails into ongoing streams, like chat. The result is something that could disrupt how many of us send emails. Set to launch in the App Store on Sept. 18, Ping works with most major email providers including Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, and iCloud. It also works as a dedicated message app. Each message in Ping is organized into feeds by individual users or groups. Each of these streams is continuous, even if the conversation is happening via email. Ping also supports voice and video calling. Users can also attach photos and other media to each stream. In the ideal world, everyone would be using Ping. In reality, that isn’t the case. No matter. In Ping, messages are organized the same way, regardless of what is happening on the other side of the conversation. When Ping is being used by two or more people in a conversation, you can see the other person typing, just as you would with Apple’s iMessage service. For those not using Ping, messages are received just like a traditional email. Take a look: I’ve been using a prerelease version of Ping for a while now and really enjoy it. Not only does Ping make it easier to respond to messages, but it seems to speed up the entire email process. I can’t wait until others are using the service. While Ping doesn’t officially launch until Sept. 18, you can sign up for the service now at pingapp.com.