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Microsoft launches ‘Who’s In,’ a social occasion planning app for iMessage

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Microsoft’s title isn’t precisely synonymous with social networking, although that hasn’t stopped the corporate from discovering angles into this house – usually, with extra of a give attention to the enterprise facet of socializing, as with its LinkedIn and Yammer acquisitions. It’s personal efforts in social, in the meantime, have failed, as with final month’s shuttering of its social community for college students, Socl.

Now the corporate is giving social one other shot with a brand new iMessage app referred to as “Who’s In,” aimed toward serving to associates plan occasions and different outings, like film dates, dinners out, visits to close by sights, and extra.

The app, which simply launched right now on the iMessage App Retailer, doesn’t have an iPhone or iPad model at the moment – it will probably solely be accessed by way of iMessage.

If you first launch the app, it asks you to pick an exercise: “Eat and drink,” “Watch a film,” “Go to an attraction,” or “Create your personal.”

After selecting one of many choices, Who’s In then leverages Microsoft’s search engine Bing for its options of issues to do – like space eating places or film showtimes, for instance. These seem after you consent to sharing your location with the app.

With a number of extra faucets you enter the different particulars, just like the occasion time, or – within the case of a customized occasion – the situation, title, and an outline.

The app will the create a customized card on your occasion, designed for texting, which features a thumbnail picture with the situation and the time. The photographs the app makes use of are generic, nevertheless, as you’ll be able to see within the above instance. That’s disappointing by way of the general expertise.

Recipients can faucet on this card after which faucet a thumbs up button to point they’re “in” or the thumbs down to point they’re “out.” (Therefore the app’s title.)

What’s additionally helpful is that the app provides a manner for the occasion’s organizer to enter in a number of dates/occasions, permitting Who’s In to function a form of group polling app.

This addresses one of many frequent struggles of organizing outings by way of iMessage – there’s usually numerous backwards and forwards chatter about what time everybody desires to do the factor being mentioned. With Who’s In, you’ll be able to as an alternative ship out the occasion’s card and gather votes.

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One humorous factor to notice about Who’s In is that Google years in the past launched its personal social app aimed toward getting associates collectively to hang around. Its title? Who’s Down. That app was finally shut down for lack of use.

That mentioned, Microsoft’s app (additionally to not be confused with this indie app of the identical title) looks like a helpful addition for anybody who spends numerous time in SMS and iMessage chats planning with associates.

Sadly, with the way in which the app integrations in iMessage have been designed, it’s nonetheless overly cumbersome to seek out apps, and use them after set up. This has led to slowing development within the retailer, based on one third-party report, in addition to complaints from builders and pundits alike in regards to the iMessage retailer’s design points. These considerations are legitimate, and can seemingly impression the adoption of Microsoft’s Who’s In app, too.

We must always observe, too, that this isn’t Microsoft’s first entry into the iMessage App Retailer, nor even its first social app for iMessage.

The corporate already launched iMessage apps for OneDrive, Yammer, and Bing, plus a Halo stickers app, and a equally centered occasion planning app, referred to as #MovieDate. This latter app, because the title implies, is just for films, and it has a courting focus.

Who’s In is a free obtain for iPhone customers.

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