The socializing, photography and multimedia rocking aspect of Android aside, half of the purpose of a typical smartphone is undoubtedly to help you connect with your contacts in multiple ways. Be it through calling, texting, chatting or mailing, you are likely to interact with your contacts in more than just one way. While relying on each individual app to trace these interactions with the relevant contacts is an obvious choice, how good it would be have an app that aggregates your various modes of communication with the contacts belonging to a different app under one hood? Developed by the SEVEN Networks, Ping for Android keeps you apprised of all your recent interactions with your phone/mail contacts and Facebook friends. The app does not have a widget of it’s own, however, it uses a widget-like interface to display all contacts with whom you’ve recently had a conversation either via call, SMS or an IM such as Google Talk, Facebook Chat or the app’s official client Seven IM (installed automatically along with the app) and displays the last few interactions that you had with them. Using Ping, you can manage/personalize all the content for which you wish to be notified and access your favorite contacts with just a few taps.
The app’s concept of letting users keep tabs on all their recent conversations with specific contacts isn’t new. We’ve seen this feature before in quite a few other similar Android apps such as Smartr Contacts and life.contacts.
Ping displays an icons for all notification events (call, SMS, Facebook and IM) beside each contact. The small little numeric figure on top of each icon displays the number of unattended calls, texts or chat messages while the purple plus (+) sign on top of a contact’s profile photo lets you quickly send him/her an invitation to join Ping.
Using the app’s settings button, you may adjust the opacity level of its main interface and/or specify the launching criteria of its window (you may set it to always launch on screen unlock or launch only upon receiving a new notification). Swipe across the settings screen to pick notification events that you want the app to show.
Apart from using the hardware Back key, you can quit Ping by simply swiping across it’s main interface towards left/right of screen.
From within the app’s native chat client, you can activate your Facebook Chat and/or Google Talk account and start chatting with your buddies.