Check out Flow Messenger for iPhone

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by nard, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. nard macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    #1
    Heya all,

    On my spare time over the last two months, I've wanted to learn a few web technologies and the iPhone SDK, so I created an iPhone app that allows instant push messages. It's similar to WhatsApp and Ping! in that it is able to push messages to other iphones and ipod touch devices, but where it shines I feel is the ability to have a contact list(add/block/decline/request contacts), group conversation, read message receipts, and fully ad supported(free).

    I submitted it to Apple on the 19th, and just waiting for approval at this point, and thought people might want to take a look at the feature list and screenshots, and provide some feedback.


    I hope some of you guys are excited about Flow Messenger, as it's my first iPhone app, and I pretty started this project with a desire to learn some new stuff :)

    Check out http://www.flowmessenger.com

    If you like it, you can become a facebook fan :)
     
  2. corriewf macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    #2
    Whats the difference between this and IM+ or Beejive? Why limit myself to only iphone people?

    I ask because I want to know. :)
     
  3. nard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    #3
    I'm sure others have talked about this point already for their respective apps, but some of my reasons for using an IM client over im+ or beejive
    1) beehive requires you to be online to receive push notification messages, if you've been logged off, I dont think you receive any more messages.
    2) Other people you are trying to contact have to be online to receive your messages.
    3) as of this point, I dont think any IM client has group conversations. Im not sure, but i think i read beejive recently finished group conversations, but I guess we will have to see how easy it is to use and add people.
    4) as of this point, I dont think there are read message receipts for IM clients.
     
  4. corriewf macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    #4
    Good points. Like Ping and other msg services, do the other iphone users have to use this software to get the messages? Would be great if this would work for those that don't have it installed. Maybe they receive a text msg with a sig that says they can get these msgs by push by downloading this..

    All the different messaging services seem to be splitting hairs at this point.
     
  5. nard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    #5
    Yea, people would have to download this application in order to receive push messages, as with all other push applications. But there is an in-app invitation that allows you to send an email to friends and family letting them know of the application and your PIN.

    Yea, I think it's sort of a critical time, where all the developers who seemed to have come up with the same idea at the same time in different areas all are releasing their apps lol. It's definitely more stressful working on a product where someone else has released something already, but I've made it a point myself not to rush things, and do a good job releasing a stable IM with the features people want that work, and provide an infrastructure that can support and scale as more people use the app.

    But I dont mind, and I've always felt with competition, It's better for the end users, because they have more choice in deciding what solution is best for them, and it encourages the developers to proactively implement better features, and provide a good product to people.
     
  6. Goldfrapp macrumors 601

    Goldfrapp

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    #6
    Ads kill it for me. I'd rather pay than see those hideous thick lines of ads. Also, is there a screenshot revealing what chat windows look like? Cheers.

    P.S. I'm following you on Twitter.
     
  7. nard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    #7
    @PBF

    You've probably checked out the screen shots page over at: http://www.flowmessenger.com/screenshots/ but the first screenshot shows the chat box which is an overlay over the conversation. This allows you to scroll behind the overlay so you can read previous messages while typing, and you can see new messages come in. Second screenshot shows conversation after you've typed a message. It hides the overlay and keyboard.

    I've made the decision to hide the ad when your typing a message, because I seriously doubt anyone will be clicking on ads or paying attention to ads in the middle of typing a message. I know I would find it annoying seeing ads while I'm typing a message and it's taking up valuable screen space. Ads appear on all other pages though.

    I've made it ad supported, because I would like to keep it free. Unfortunately the ads on the iPhone aren't exactly the most stylish ads. Hopefully things will continue to improve on that front.
     
  8. ctt1wbw macrumors 68000

    ctt1wbw

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Seaford VA
    #8
    This does look like a nice app. Could you make one for a buck or two and get rid of the ads, plus keep the free one? It's good that you want it free for the users, but some people hate ads. I'll try it out though and let you know what I think. :)
     
  9. nard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    #9
    Thanks, hope you'll enjoy it when it's released :) But ya, definitely at a later point, a pro version would be considered where the ads are stripped away, especially if there is a demand for an ad free version.
     
  10. srl7741 macrumors 68020

    srl7741

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    In my world
    #10
    I would also like to try the App but can't if it supports Ads. I will be happy to pay for any App so long as it does not have Ads. I dream of the day the world is Ad free, meanwhile I do my part by supporting Ad free anything and purchasing things without Ads.
     
  11. kicko macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    #11
    I think this app could be worth a look but i do agree ads might bother some.
     
  12. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #12
    I'm only interested if there's an ad-free version.
     
  13. bbplayer5 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    #13
    Ad free version and you got a deal. Problem is trying to get other iphone users to purchase it... But then again, they can just use the ad version.

    Why use this program? Simple.. Ask any BB user why BB messenger rocks.
     
  14. nard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    #14
    Thanks for the feedback guys, I really appreciate it. I'll probably release an ad-free version a week or so after this ad-supported version is out to give people a choice.
     
  15. Knowlege Bomb macrumors 603

    Knowlege Bomb

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #15
    I'm with the majority here. I dropped Twitterfon like a bad habit when they integrated ads. I still think it's a fantastic app but I would never use it again. I did buy the Pro version but Tweetie is the reigning champ.

    Back on topic though. I downloaded Ping! and Whatsapp before they reverted to paid apps so I'll be using one of those (or none) until you release something without ads. At that point I'll consider giving it a shot.
     
  16. lllll macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    #16
    The ads will probably discourage me too. I would just pay a one time fee of 99 cent and that's the best I can do. :D

    That if this app can prove that it is different from the other app. Like the ability to send file and share stuff while messaging each other. ;)
     
  17. nard thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 26, 2009
    #17
  18. nard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    #18
    So unfortunately, the ball is still in Apple's court. I havn't heard from them yet after they backtracked and expedited a second review. But from my server logs during their second review they still seem to be experiencing issues on some of their devices where they are not receiving push notification from the apple push network server with their ipod touch. although they only tested 1 device, and i'm not sure if they attempt to fix it by turning off wifi, and turn it on again. But something isn't right on their end, because I've done thorough tests with iPhone 3G/3GS, ipod Touch 2G/3G with os 3.0/3.1/3.1.2 with WIFI and 3G and never had issues with debug/adhoc profiles. So if it doesn't work, I'll probably have to open up a support ticket with an apple engineer and see what's going on. I wonder if any other people are experiencing similar issues as well?

    Anyways, since this was more of a personal project for me and I'm waiting on Apple, I did a writeup on an interesting implementation of RESTful authentication Flow Messenger uses. I hope it will be interesting to people.

    Implementing secure RESTful authentication with the iPhone. A look at Flow Messenger's Authentication Mechanism - http://www.flowmessenger.com/blog/2009/11/10/iphone-and-secure-restful-authentication.html
     
  19. nard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    #19
    Good news people!

    Apple has finally approved the app, and it's ready. Woot!

    itms://itunes.apple.com/us/app/flow-messenger/id336689041?mt=8

    please check it out guys, and let me know how you all like it. I'd appreciate some feedback, and look forward to hearing form everyone.

    Now it's time to sit tight on my end, and watch the server performance lol.
     
  20. nard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    #20
    If people experience issues, I would encourage them to send an email to support@flowmessenger.com.

    There is a facebook fan page here for discussions where users can help each other, and also our FAQ page here
     
  21. erasat macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    #21
    Already downloaded for my iPhone 3GS and my wife's iPod Touch.

    I can tell you that the PIN is always a good idea to be able to be like a real BBM, that you have it over WhatsApp, and so far the only one out that gives you the Sent and received confirmation, another Big plus, BUT I don't know, it's hard to get used to after having used BBM for a year, and for more than a month now have used WhatsApp and Ping!, the Chat layout needs a little work. Kind of hard to follow it, typing or even reading the Chat screen.

    However, the one of the bunch that I like the least is Ping!, don't ask me why, because I have a huge list, so at least, you are in there just tight it up a little and keep it free and you will get a good user base.
     
  22. nard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    #22
    Thanks. If you have any suggestions on how the chat interface might be improved, i'm open to suggestions. the next build is almost complete where I have landscape mode, so I can still make some changes.

    would having the ability to change font size help? I implemented it this way so it would be easier to see who was speaking in group conversations.
     
  23. erasat macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    #23
    Well, first issue, I know you mentioned that you prefer that we send an email, but, posting here is also very good for people's troubleshoot.

    I tested with a couple of messages and they went fine, then I closed my App, and my wife sent me a message, I received immediately the Push, and press View, it opened the App, BUT, I never got the message, and never found it on the Chat screen. Problem is that I still have a 1 in my Badge Alert and it never goes away, it's annoying as hell, so far after that i have exchanged messages and all goes fine, but the 1 still there, closed it and re-opened and still there, let me reboot to see what it does.
     
  24. erasat macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    #24
    I know you used different font colors for sender and receiver, so it can be differentiate that way, BUT, all the others are using Screen positions and bubbles for that, I don't even like the bubbles but it sure helps a lot differentiating while in a chat.

    Also, once in a chat, you should limit conversations for the same users, I mean, if you are in a Conversation and then press the + for another Conversation, you should not allow the same user to be selected, because it's easy to just select the same user and then it just opens another conversation with the same user, and then it just creates a mess.

    Just think about it, it's just my opinion, but it may help you.
     
  25. nard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    #25
    Heya guys, for the people who are trying out Flow Messenger, I'd appreciate your feedback. let me know what you think of the app, and if you encounter any problems I'll try my best to help out.

    -Vincent Young
     

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