As technology continues to advance, life gets more and more complicated. The programs and gadgets designed to lighten our load have become a burden themselves, causing the general public to have to constantly learn new methods and advance at the same rapid pace. But then there are programs – in this case, applications – that attempt to ease this problem by combining everything in hopes of making the all-in-one concept seem simple and more enticing to the crowd.
Yet, when it comes to social networking, we fail to realize that half the tasks we take on are completely unnecessary. However, Pinch – iMessenger, iContacts & iLocation Sense by Affle Pte Ltd takes a plethora of these pointless actions and combines them into a single application that may or may not put your mind into overdrive depending on how much information you can take in at one time.
While Pinch most definitely does a decent job of combining multiple types of social networking and mobile communication into one application, one also has to account for the fact that such an application will only work to the fullest extent if all your friends are using the app as well. Luckily, Pinch features cross platforms messaging support, meaning iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Blackberry, Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Web and Facebook users can access the same services, slightly increasing your chances of finding friends who use the application. Otherwise, once you create your account, be prepared to send a lot of invitations.
Upon startup, all users will first need to access the Profile tab, which will allow existing users to log in and new users to register. While users can either create a new account or sign in using their Facebook account, all will have to provide their mobile telephone number and email address in order to proceed. Pinch promises that such information is confidential and used to simply provide users with their messages and archived information, for Pinch offers free unlimited storage of your message history.
With the iMessenger component, Pinch hopes to redefine texting by ridding users of roaming or data charges. Their idea is to eliminate the need to pay for SMS and MMS messaging and data by taking advantage of your device’s Wi-Fi capabilities. Users can also customize their messaging layout with personalized themes and wallpapers available under Preferences. To compile all your contacts in one place, the iContacts portion works to organize and auto-discover your friends from your phone’s contact list, Twitter and Facebook (assuming you give Pinch the permission to connect to your accounts).
However, the most unnecessary (and unsafe) aspect of Pinch would have to be the iLocation Sense aspect. Acting as a built-in stalking system, more or less, iLocation will find fellow Pinch friends and users nearby, while also sharing your location and tracking your personal journey with directions and miles traveled. To encourage check-ins, points are awarded every time you inform the world of your location. These points can then be used in Pinch’s leaderboard contests, including their current iPad giveaways. Of course, I do know that users can control who sees their location, but encouraging such forms of social networking is irresponsible considering the potential dangers sharing such information may lead to when in the wrong hands.
But, if you are truly into such forms of social networking, then you best get to work on inviting all your friends (anyone with a Smartphone, that is) so they can join you on your journey to make Pinch semi-practical in a world run by Facebook, Twitter, Four-square and all those other social networking sites that have come to control our daily activities already.
Pinch requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.