October 17, 2013
Earlier this week, we told you about the problems the folks at Ping were having to get their new messaging app online. As you might recall, Ping turns regular emails into ongoing streams, like chat. The service was supposed to launch before the end of September. Unfortunately, legal issues stopped the app from going live, until now. Ping is now Hop. The free app is finally available to download in the App Store. Hop works with most major email providers including Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, and iCloud. It also works as a dedicated message app. Each message in Hop is organized into feeds by individual users or groups. Each of these streams is continuous, even if the conversation is happening via email. Hop also supports voice and video calling. Users can also attach photos and other media to each stream. Full features include:
As previously noted, the app formerly known as Ping was ready to go a month ago. However, PING, which makes golf clubs, threatened to sue over the name. Rather than battling PING in court, Ping became Hop. This was a good move, in my opinion. When I first covered the app, I could never wrap myself around the "ping" name. This had nothing to do with golf clubs. Rather, I was surprised a developer would use a name that had already proven to be a failure in technology circles. As you may recall, from 2010 until 2012, Apple ran the unsuccessful iTunes Ping music social network. For now, using Hop requires an invitation. To request an invite, visit gethop.com or follow the instructions within the app. Hop's invitation system works just like the one Mailbox used earlier this year. After submitting a request, you'll see where you are in line. Once you're at the top, you'll receive a special access code to get started. We're glad to see Hop finally launch in the App Store. We hope to publish a review very soon.
- A playful, easy interface: Rich media sharing (personal photos, Web photos, video), voice recording, video chat, doodling and the all bells and whistles that make chatting fun.
- Super real-time responses: Receive emails the exact moment they come in. Users can even see when another person is typing, as you would with iMessage or chat.
- Better notifications: Stop checking your phone every time it buzzes. Assign custom notification alerts for different types of messages and contacts, and keep it in your pocket.
- Instant access to shared media: See all recent attachments and documents within a conversation by flipping your phone to horizontal view.
- Assign messages: Hit the Couch, Desktop or the Passholder button to save messages for later.
- Quick search: Find friends or conversations instantly with a universal search bar.
Hop - Your email. Reimagined.