iMessages for Mac and iOS has no parallel when it comes to messaging over an internet connection and keeping messages on your phone synced with those on your desktop. Pling is a free app available in the Mac App Store that does what few messenger apps do; it allows you to send audio messages to your contacts in Pling, and receive those sent by others. The messages can be left any time, and listened to at your convenience. Pling isn’t your regular messenger app; it’s more like an answering machine that rests in your Menu Bar.
To use Pling to send audio messages, you will need to first create an account with the service, which is free. Your recipient must also be using Pling. Your user name and email serve as identifiers for others to add you or send you a message.
Once signed in, you can start adding contacts by clicking the orange plus sign in the top-right. Contacts can be added either by name or by their email address. Anyone you add on Pling will have to approve your add request. Pling can also connect with your Address Book and import contacts from there.
You will have one unread message waiting for you when you sign in. It’s a welcome message from Pling Support, you can feel free to ignore it. To send an audio message, click a contact and then click & hold the mic button as you speak your message. Once your release the button, the message will be sent. Needless to say, you need an active internet connection to send or receive messages. All the messages you receive have a play button that you can click to start listening to them.
Any messages can be deleted easily; simply select one and hit delete. When you delete a message, it is removed not just from your system, but from the recipient’s system as well. This can be a great thing in certain scenarios, while not quite desirable in cases when you want to keep your copy of a message that the sender decides to delete. Pling’s preferences offer no customization options, and only let you edit your account or log out of it. Though you can set Pling to start when you boot your Mac.
Pling offers good voice quality and the only thing that might bother some is the click & hold to record option. Keeping the button held down to record a message is just an unnecessary activity on the user’s part when it comes to voice mail. However, it can be useful if we look at it from the perspective of push-to-talk to have a conversation with another user. Leaving it up to the user to decide by providing an option to choose this behavior between push-to-talk and conventional recording would be nice.