The short voice messenger service Pana.ma will be hitting the Android Market in May and we’ve had a chance to play around with it. After a week of usage, I think the app has the potential to dramatically cut down your usage of voice minutes and text messages.
The service originally launched on the iPhone and it enables you to send short voice messages to friends or strangers – think of it like text messaging but with voice. There’s also a public time line feature that lets you interact with the community on any topic. The company said it has seen its usage of voice and text messages dip because of the service.
If you’re like me (a jerk), you’re already over making calls. Most of the time, I much prefer shooting off an e-mail or text and not have to deal with the hassles of talking. Because of this, I was dubious about the merits of Pana.ma. After rocking it on my Droid and speaking with the team, I’m starting to turn around.
There is something powerful about hearing someone. You can easily understand if they’re being sweet or sarcastic without that need for dreaded emoticons. For you texting fans, you still get the ability to convey a one-way message to someone but that message can now have the exact tone you’re looking for. There’s also a strong community of people on the service with interesting things to say. Once the network effect kicks in, it will be even more useful.
The service is free but there will eventually be a charge for premium features like transcription. There’s also going to be social networking integration with Twitter and Facebook.
The app will be available for Android 1.6 devices and above and the company’s also planning a BlackBerry version soon. It is expected to hit the Android Market in May but you can head over to Pana.ma’s site to download the open beta directly. Try it out and let us know what you think in the comments or you can send me a voice message on it (my user name is marinperez).
Download Pana.ma for iPhone (Free) [iTunes Link]