One evening in New York City, I met a Rockette. She was fun and interesting, with a jaded sense of humor.
When we met, we each traded a joke, and then she told me about an iOS app, HeyTell, which bills itself as “instant voice mail.”
I use HeyTell for only one purpose: to share jokes back and forth each day with my Rockette pal. I press “hold and speak” on the app and she instantly gets word I left a joke. The delivery experience is much easier than a phone voice mail and the retrieval process is even simpler — one click both ways.
I should add that the HeyTell connection represents the full extent of our relationship, which works for me, and I am certain for her as well.
Technology has never been so precise in its application to our daily lives. One of my investors likes to refer to it as the “appetization” of technology. I like the term “atom-ization” of our daily experiences, which are leaner, lighter and more narrowly focused on specific needs and tasks. Think about it — I use one free iOS app for one single light and joyous moment in my day, nothing more.
HotelTonight is another example of an easy-to-use app.
At the Vook office in New York City , one wall is devoted to hotel key cards that I collected while staying in 57 different hotels in different neighborhoods over an 18-month period.
HotelTonight has deals with many hotels, getting their remnant inventory at better rates than Expedia, et al. However, there is a catch: They release this inventory only at noon on the day of your stay. Throughout the day, I keep checking for bargains, as I try to game the algorithm for the best rate before the rooms are sold out.
I kept my clothes in the server room at Vook, so HotelTonight was perfect. Plus, it played to my adventurous, fun side, as a New York City nomad (Though, I must admit, I am happy I am done with that adventure).
My last example is the Viber app, which offers free calls, text and picture sharing. Again, lighter, leaner and easier to use than Skype.
I use Viber to stay in touch with one friend who lives in Kuwait. Our connection is better than Skype or Verizon and it is more functional with all the robust, easy-to-use features.
As more and more people download Viber, I am sure I will expand my user base. But for now, it is a free and user-friendly app that works for merely staying connected with a new friend.
Brad Inman is the founder and publisher of Inman News.