Messaging over mobile phone, or more precisely smartphones, has evolved beyond the simple texts that we used to send when Nokia was at the top of its game and everyone owned one of those indestructible yet ugly Handsets from the Finnish manufacturer. Today, messages are mostly sent over the internet, and can be anything from simple texts to images, voice clips, or even small video clips. Glide – Video Walkie Talkie is a messaging app for Android and iOS that lets you send video messages, or broadcast your video live to friends (currently only supports Facebook). It’s something like a cross between Skype and an answering machine. You can chat with one or several friends at once, and also leave messages for those who are offline. To send and receive messages, both the sender and recipient(s) must have the app installed.
After installing the app, sign in using your Facebook account. You can tap the contacts button at the top-right to view which of your friends are using the app, and select any one of them to send a message. It isn’t important for them to be online; any message you send will be delivered to them when they next log in.
You can send both text messages and video messages. To record a message, tap the video recorder button. If your friend is online, the app will inform you that you’re ready to broadcast live. To send a text message, tap the T button and type your message. In-app banners alert you when you receive a new message.
When sending or broadcasting messages, you can send them to one or several friends. The add friends slide-out menu allows you to create groups. You can use either the front facing camera or the back one to record your videos. If you’d like to leave any conversation, tap the menu button in that conversation and select ‘Leave’. This can be very useful if you’ve been included in a group chat but would like to stop receiving the messages shared in it.
The app is still in Beta on Android, and we experienced several crashes during our testing. There are no limits to how long you can broadcast your video, or the length of messages you can record. One shortcoming of the app is that you cannot delete the messages you’ve sent; it seems they will reside on the app’s servers forever. The Android app also collects anonymous user data and there is no way to opt out of it. Needless to say, the quality of the broadcast and any lag in its transmission will also depend significantly on the strength and speed of your internet connection.