January 28, 2009 -- iPhone users looking for their nearest friends need only to glance at their screen, thanks to the addition today of location functionality to Palringo’s popular rich messaging application.
From today, a user looking down their contact list sees not only the location of his or her Palringo contacts – typically a town name - but also how far away that contact is.
In the next update [due soon] a further click will bring up a map showing the location of that contact and also the location of any other Palringo contacts within a 10km radius.
In the same update, the location function will allow a user to display his/her own location on a map – highly convenient if visiting somewhere for the first time.
Location and proximity information adds an interesting new layer of social network connectivity. A Palringo user can choose to reveal location to any, all or no contacts, changing this selection at any time. Location can be set manually by the user, or Palringo can detect location automatically, keeping it continuously updated.
“Just knowing where someone is can be really useful, and knowing how far away they are is even better. The prospect of knowing where someone is before you start adds a whole new dimension to your conversation,” said Kerry Ritz, Palringo’s CEO. “It can eliminate worry and will probably mean the end of a lot of unnecessary ‘Where are you?’ calls. And soon you’ll pretty much be able to watch your friend, a few minutes late for your rendezvous, approaching on a map,” he added.
Location and proximity information complement Palringo’s rich messaging service, which already provides the option to send/receive vocal instant messages, picture messages and text-based messages. The Palringo service is designed for use on mobile phones, but versions are also available for Mac OS and other desktop environments.
Notes to editors
1. While the iPhone has its own location service (and Palringo on iPhone takes full advantage of it), Palringo on other platforms calculates location using all available radio signals, including those from mobile network base stations and also from Wi-Fi access points known to Palringo’s database. The database is updated with new information constantly, so Palringo’s location algorithm becomes more accurate every day. Location can be calculated accurately to within a single street in towns and cities.
2. Palringo integrates with most popular IM services: AOL® Instant Messenger®, Google Talk™, Yahoo!® Messenger®, Gadu-Gadu, ICQ®, Jabber® and Microsoft’s Windows Live. People can also use Palringo to contact their friends using iChat®, Apple’s IM application.
3. Palringo is free to download from the App Store. There are no subscriptions or other hidden charges.
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