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Friday, April 19, 2013

Test Run: Glide Video Messenger App

It is still unclear how people want to interact with video and their smartphone when it comes to communicating. Although iPhone owners use FaceTime, the Apple video chat feature, its usage pales in comparison to the number of texts and voice calls customers send on their devices.

But that isn’t stopping start-ups from trying to reinvent video messaging. One, a new application called Glide hopes to entice iPhone owners to chat on  video rather than text with their friends, or worse, make one of those old boring voice calls.

On its Web site, Glide touts itself as “the world’s first instant video messaging platform, combining the personality of video chat with the convenience of texting.”

It’s incredibly simply to use. To start a video chat, go into the application and click on the top right icon for your contacts, then select the person you would like to share a video with. Once you’ve recorded it, the clip acts just like a voicemail and is sent to the recipient. If you want to host a group video chat, select “Create Group” in your friend list. Then people can pass videos around like hot potatoes at a birthday party.

I used Glide at a recent dinner party in New York City, setting up a group chat with some friends in San Francisco who were unable to attend. We then passed my phone around the table so people could say hello to our friends who were 3,000 miles away. It worked seamlessly over 3G as we showed off the pork shoulder we were about to ravage.

You can also respond to videos with text messages, or emojis in the application â€" I mean, what would a communications app be without emojis? The videos are also stored in the cloud and stream directly to and from your phone. This means the messages don’t take up any additional space.

One of the frustrating features of the app is the inability to block people, so sometimes random messages arrive in your inbox. But, you can easily ignore or remove them.

For now you can only sign up for Glide with a Facebook account. Glide recently told TechCrunch that it was working on an Android version of the application which was expected soon.