Hey! Summer has arrived in Ontario, and that means BBQ's, patios and swimming… for most people. Now I know you all are probably figuring that's what the iotum team has been up to, but it's not true! We've been thinking about your needs too!
I'm proud to tell you about a nice new release of Talk-Now for BlackBerry that we slipped into production last week. Incorporating new features and fixes asked for by users, it's available now for download. If you're already a Talk-Now user, you received notification earlier this week, and if you haven't tried Talk-Now yet… well, go ahead and download the best release yet! Blackberry OS 4.0 or better required.
My favorite three new features in this release are:
1. A new look and feel.
Sensory Metric's Mitch Brisebois, an Ottawa local usability guru, dropped by our offices a few weeks back to chat with the team about various aspects of the Talk-Now user interface. Aside from making the UI jazzier to look at, we also wanted to make it easier to see and use and eliminate accessibility concerns related to color-blindness.
As a result of that talk, the UI has now been modified so that it doesn't rely solely on color anymore to convey user availability. Icons to represent free, busy, and busy but interruptable have been added, as well as an icon to show that notify me has been set. You can see the notify me icon in the graphic on the right — it's the gold colored alarm bell beside Howard's name.
2. Greater integration with the BlackBerry.
One of our goals is to become a more natural extension to of the BlackBerry user experience. What that means is integrating Talk-Now more tightly into various applications within the BlackBerry. For this release:
- Rather than returning to the Talk-Now application in order to find out the availability of specific individuals, you can simply check from within the address book, or the call log — the natural place to check this information.
- From within the call log, you can also add someone to your To-Call list, which is another integration point.
Now you can use Talk-Now from within all the BlackBerry applications you use on a daily basis!
3. Click-to-Call with Jajah.
In addition, we've updated the Call Notification message to allow a simple Click-to-Call experience for the recipient when you send a notification. Now the notification contains a drop-down box to select which phone to call-back. The recipient simply types in their number, and then we invoke Jajah to call you and them, using your Jajah account. It's perfect for calling family members, or for reaching a valued business associate or customer without incurring excessive mobile long distance charges.
And yes, it is BBQ season in Ontario. Expect our release schedule to slow a little over the summer months as people escape for some well deserved R&R. Rest assured, though, we haven't stopped thinking about new and compelling applications for the iotum Relevance Engine, and Talk-Now.