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iPhone 4 App of the Week – Beluga Messenger

By on January 31, 2011
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Your circle of friends, now even better!

Good: Fast, Reliable, Easy way of being informed of the activities within a group
Bad: No video uploads or Blackberry support
Price: AED Free
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

Life’s always more fun in a pack of friends that are dear to you, to be able to share your daily triumphs, trials & tribulations with them can be rewarding. If we’ve learned anything from the great groups of our times such as the X-Men, dirty dozen and the goonies,  is that it’s all about packs of likeminded eccentrics and weirdoes sharing a common purpose in life on the hush hush in hopes of not being ridiculed or becoming social pariahs. Synchronicity on the move, that’s exactly what Beluga Messenger delivers, a forum for groups on the go.

Only having discovered this app less than two weeks ago it is now a permanent fixture in my niche circle of friends who are big on tech, games, cars, all things shiny with an LED screen and prefer animated Japanese girls over real women, and have body pillows in their possession. This a new fad picking up global steam due to the large number of man child’s out there refusing to part with their escapism thus ending up spooning with one every night. they come in an array of pillow cases of all your favorite anime/video game/sci-fi characters ranging from bubblegum pink hair gun wielding buxom beauties to the more bizarre alienesque looking blue haired demi-gods with fangs & crimson eyes but no Disney Princesses for all intensive legal purposes. In their defense even some celebs such as James Franco happen to cuddle up to one every night, a merry bunch indeed they are.

So to finally find an app that binds our daily social feeds within this particular circle of “friends” that I’d steer away from having much interaction with on Facebook that has your colleagues, sane friends, real women and family members is a God send.

We can post links, pics and write lengthy messages with no word limit. It also allows me to track the whereabouts of members within a Pod which constantly updates as they contribute to it. The layout is simple & clean, each Pod you start can have different members under it. You can add/remove/invite (email, SMS, FB, Twitter) them as you please. You can title your pods, attach a pic for significance and add an event, date, location to it as well. Under the Maps tab you’ll be able to see where exactly all contributing members happen to be and this data constantly updates as a member moves around the city, this comes in extremely handy when you’re organizing an event such as a birthday, wedding, baby shower, or simply catching a movie at a mall, and would like to know where each member is if you need to delegate a task.

It’s a perfect companion to clubs & associations, be it the book club, nature watch, motoring enthusiasts of all manner, neighborhood watch, school projects even if you’re planning a mini coup on an island (think LOST) or peaceful protest rally; this is your app.

One scenario I see this coming in extremely handy is while holidaying in a foreign city and needing to keep a brace of your loved ones whereabouts; whether you all happen to be catching different modes of transport to your hotel, or moving about in smaller pockets to different sightseeing locales. A massive flea market where everyone has split up to do their own shopping but is constantly aware of what the other is on the lookout for, and if happen to chance into a better bargain at a different stall, can notify the member of a better deal to scoot over by using the map.

It’s a mix of an instant messenger and a location based app such as Foursquare, Gowalla and Kickball. It’s fast, reliable and never crashes; you get instant push notifications the nanosecond someone posts to it. When using the app you really get a sense of a global quality medium such as Facebook or Twitter, knowing in the back of your head that a massive server sitting in an undisclosed location is tending to your Pods. I thought Whatsapp was better and faster, but this will surprise you with its blistering speed.

Brainchild of Ben, Lucy and Jonathan, former staff of Google and Microsoft who were collectively responsible for much of the development of Gmail chat, Google news, Google docs and Msn explorer; so you know you have experts steering the course of this app. Even the icon which sports a friendly white whale which is indicative that soon the app will have a global presence, and the term Beluga will not conjure up images of caviar or the marine animal it’s named after.

This app, which is currently available for the iPhone & Android smartphones, is soon hopping to be multi-platform & will one day be available on a Sourberry and Nokia.

There was a study done recently suggesting that all these bubbling social media apps will be squat like flies and only a notable handful will remain. Well I can assure you a day will come when you’ll hear this while on a ferry ride, not from the mouth of crazy Ahab (a.k.a. Captain) but from one of your own loony bin friends while peering into the water, breaking the early-morning silence of huddled commuters to work “There she blows!–there she blows! A hump like a snow-hill it is Beluga!”


About

Best described as an active sponge having a penchant to retain inane info. In some circles he's known as "MOON" the brooding traveler. Being a child of the 80's & escapist at heart allows pop-culture to bleed into the bleak of the real world. Big on hand drawn anime & all things Japan. We have on good authority that he'd snort wasabi if it weren't for his flaring nostrils or the fact it may prove fatal in higher doses.

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