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Thursday, June 13, 2024 — Houston, TX

Featured App: HeyTell

By Anthony Lauriello     1/17/12 6:00pm

Remember back to the telecommunications innovations of your childhood. The cups attached with string. That one thing on the playground you could whisper in. Playing the game "telephone." All of these things had their appeal, but they did not hold a candle to the wallkie-talkie. The wakie-talkie was both effective and awesome. In your hands, you held the same type of device used by firefighters, spies and construction workers. The simple joy of saying "over" or "copy" was enough to send even the most cynical child into fits of joy.

Fifteen or so years may have hardened you, making you think that you are a different person than you were back on the playground. However, we all know that you still can name all 150 Pokemon, that cartoons are still enjoyable and that if no one were watching, you would eat Play- Doh. So if I told you that you could turn your phone into a walkie-talkie for the price of zero dollars, I know you would jump on that bandwagon faster than even fake radio signals can travel. Allow me to introduce "HeyTell."

HeyTell is a cross-platform app that is as simple as it is functional. One presses a large orange button, and you can send messages using the data plan on a phone to other HeyTell-enabled phones. I am sure naysayers will ask why one would ever do this instead of texting or calling. I, too, once subscribed to this belief until I tried to the app myself. All the wonder of the walkie-talkie retuned as I gleefully said "over" after every message, complete with a mock sound of static.

However fun the novelty of the app was, I learned that the app also served a useful function. Instead of spending all the time using my thumbs to hammer out a message or getting ensnared in a lengthy phone conversation, HeyTell allowed me to quickly coordinate important plans with friends. For example, deciding which servery we would eat at or discussing certain plays in last weekend's football games. That is not to say that HeyTell is perfect. Sadly, conversations are only bilateral, and there are no group chats unless you pay the two-dollar add-on fee. Furthermore, HeyTell is restricted to smartphones, so those without them will be left out of the fun. That being said, HeyTell soon earned itself the coveted space on the bottom of my iPhone, reserved for those apps I hold most dear.

In recent days, I have become a HeyTell-evangelist, spreading the gospel of this great tool so that I can have fun every time I communicate with my friends. All those who I have annoyed enough to try it immediately shed their incredulous beliefs and asked me how we ever we talked to each other before HeyTell. Download the app, and feel the nostalgia.

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