Featured Android App Review: invi – Is this how texting apps should be?

by Macky Evangelista on
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Texting has become the main source in communicating with your friends, family or people in general. It’s fast, easy and efficient. The people over at Invi Labs has taken the simplicity and functionality of a texting application and gave it a gorgeous UI along with some really great options and features.

Upon opening Invi, you’re greeted with a welcome screen and a short tutorial on what the app entails and what it offers. Just simply swipe right to continue until you’re hit with a “register” screen. Upon registering you’re prompted to choose a “banner photo” and a “profile” photo of yourself. In the screen shots below you’ll see what each looks like in the app.

As you can see, the banner photo that you will eventually choose is placed at the top header of the app, so you’ll have to choose a wide picture so that it fits well. Below my banner will be the contacts that I’m currently having conversations with, and in this case my buddy Chris is who I tested the app out with. It was also a pleasant surprise to see how high the resolution is on the banner photos of myself and my contacts. It really pops out and looks great, and this is one of my favorite parts of Invi.

Once you select a conversation, you’re once again greeted with a gorgeous UI with the contacts banner photo at the top and the ensuing conversation at the bottom. This is where the profile picture comes into effect with mine and Chris’ photo to the left of each message sent. Within a conversation there’s plenty of different things you can do that makes this app great. If you were to send a photo you can see a thumbnail preview of it in the conversation. Once you single tap the photo, it is slightly expanded and gives you options to view it as a whole, share it to Facebook, or share it in other ways.

One of the coolest things by far is the intuitive way Invi created for sharing YouTube videos. You can directly search for a YouTube video you desire within the app, or you can simply copy and paste a link and it will thumbnail the video in the conversation like so in the first screen shot. Once you tap it and expand it, you can play the video and you can continue to chat with your buddy while the video plays at the top! Quite nifty, don’t you think? To exit out of the video you just simply press the “back button.”

The “+” button at the bottom left corner is where you are given options such as adding pictures or videos. I like it as it’s quick and very easy to access.

Last but not least, with Invi still very much a work in progress, there’s not much you can really change in the settings portion. You can change the theme to black or white (in my case I opted for black as you can see), change the notification sound and opt for vibration. You can also change your banner photo and profile photo if you so choose.

Conclusion:

Invi is a wonderful app and the options makes it a joy to use. The UI looks great and surprisingly performs like it looks. The entire app was very smooth and fluid, and I experienced no lags or hiccups while I was testing it out. What I would really love for Invi to incorporate is the ability to create a “group” chat with multiple people and not just one person at a time. Considering it’s still in its infant stages, I would assume that feature would be implemented in the future at some point.

Obviously no matter how great this app can be or become, it won’t matter if people don’t use it. This is a wonderful app that I’d love to use, but I would be surprised if it ends up widely used, it’s just difficult to get plenty of people to jump on one app. Although who knows, Invi could gain some ground in the popularity department if people enjoy the features. Nonetheless it’s great to see such great features being implemented into a texting app, I would love to see these features on Google’s GTalk app as that’s what I tend to use quite often with my friends.

Either way, give this app a shot and try it out with some of your friends! The app is free and download links are below.

Thanks for introducing the app to me, Chris! 

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Play Store Download Link

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  • Thomas

    Wow. This app looks incredibly sick. Il have to try it out

    • http://twitter.com/Mackster248 Macky Evangelista

      Definitely give it a go! :)

  • Spike

    Yeah I need to have a little play with this. Good to see some innovation going on, even with just the text message app!

  • Spike

    Yeah I need to have a little play with this. Good to see some innovation going on, even with just the text message app!

  • naurizofficial

    Testing it. Looks good.

  • http://twitter.com/thebobman Bob Carleton

    I know it’s more work, but I don’t understand why more apps like t his don’t integrate regular SMS in some way. That way everyone can download and use it as a standard SMS app, and as more people jump on board those people can be migrated over to the more specific “invi” features. Instead it’s just a useless app sitting there with no one using it. I agree it looks really neat, bu t….

  • Charlotte from invi

    Thank you for this great review Macky! We really enjoyed reading it and love the way you worked through the entire app. We’re definitely hoping that people do use the app and jump on board. We’re taking on board all features requests from our Android users and bringing out great new features often. Look out for a new release next week. Oh – and thanks to Chris too!!

    • http://twitter.com/Mackster248 Macky Evangelista

      Can’t wait to see how this app turns out!! :)

  • http://ecelltech.blogspot.com/ e_cell

    Yay! I’ve only bumped with this app just now. Oh, how come I haven’t known this before. This just looks awesome. Definitely going to try this. Thanks for sharing this, Macky :)