Coco Voice is a free cross-platform IM client for Android and iOS-powered devices that allows users to share text, photo and voice messages with each other in real-time over the internet. Initially available only in the iTunes App Store, the app has just made its way into the Android Market, sporting all the cool features that we get to see with its iOS counterpart. Using Coco Voice, you can initiate a conversation session with other app users to share voice messages in real-time, just like a walkie talkie. Each shared voice message is played almost instantly in high quality, and gets stored as an individual audio clip within the conversation history. In fact, the app supports saving your entire conversation sessions, so that you can take a glance at your recent chats with friends, and listen to their messages as many times as you like.
The app also lets you natively post status updates on the Coco Voice network, Facebook and Twitter. It also supports sharing text as well as email messages from within the app. Real-time status bar notifications keep you apprised of any friend/chat requests, as well as other activities from the network that involve you in one way or the other. All in all, a fast, simple and fun way of interacting with your buddies via your smartphones/tablets.
It must be mentioned here that Coco Voice is not the only Android app based on the concept of voice-message sharing. Previously reviewed Loudtalks and Voxer also let you use your device as a walkie-talkie. Hence, Coco Voice can be lauded as a welcome addition to the list of apps from said genre. It places no restriction on the length of audio messages that can be shared, and the speed with which it allows you to share all the data is quite impressive.
First up, you must sign in to the app using your Coco Voice or Facebook account. New users can sign up for a fresh account from within the app for free. Once registered, the app prompts you to allow it to scan your address book for other Coco Voice users. Next, it’s the account verification process that involves activating your account by providing a 4-digit PIN received via SMS on a user-specified phone number.
After that, it’s pretty much smooth sailing. The app’s homescreen comprises four main tabs in all. Chats is from where you can check your new Coco Voice notifications, post voice messages to Facebook/Twitter, or initiate a conversation session with your buddies.
The app’s chat interface is pretty neatly designed. All you need to do is select whether you wish to share a photo, text message or an audio message. For this, you can tap the relevant buttons at the bottom of this screen. Tapping the compose button lets you share text messages, whereas tapping the camera button gives you the option of sharing a freshly snapped photo or import one from your device’s gallery. To share an audio message, long press the Hold to Talk button, record your message, and let go!
As mentioned earlier, sharing via Coco Voice is done at a swift pace, and you can playback any sent as well received voice messages as many times as desired. Tapping Menu > Play unread voice lets you seamlessly playback all unattended voice messages. Images received via Coco Voice can be saved to the SD card. Saved images can be found in the sdcard/DCIM/Camera folder. Moreover, any message within the conversation string can be removed by long pressing on it.
Contacts tab lets you find new friends on the network, add your Coco Voice-using mobile contacts to the app’s address book, invite your Facebook mates to start using the app, or simply start searching for the required contact with whom you wish to chat. In order to add new friends, you have the choice of searching for Coco Voice users by username, phone number or email address. Based on your current location, the app also suggests nearby Coco Voice users (if any).
The Share screen/tab lets you text your friends by SMS, or post status updates to Facebook and Twitter natively.
Finally, the Settings tab that lets you check out your Coco Voice user profile in detail. From this screen, you can update your status message, and modify the app’s notifications as well as privacy settings. There is also an option to Auto-Play voice messages as and when they are received.