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iPhone Tutorial: How to use PingChat! messenger

Different phones and devices tend to have different messaging apps, making free cross-platform chat pretty hard, but here’s the chat app to rule them all.

PingChat! is one of those rare beasts in the app world – something that is available across multiple hardware platforms, from iPhone to Blackberry and Android. It unifies the world of chat under one app, without the overhead or screen space required to run some chat programs.

All each user needs is a PingChat! username. You don’t have to send friend requests out; you simply need to know someone’s username and then you can message them, whatever platform they are using and in whatever country they happen to be in. With push notifications and an always-on system, there’s no logging in required in order to get notifications. The app lets you know there’s a message and you can quickly reply and get chatting. PingChat! also supports free photo and video attachments – which is what we will cover in this tutorial.

The first thing to do is download the app and make sure your friends have a copy (send an email from within the app to invite them to download it). Any messages that you send to a friend who is offline are stored until they log in, and then they are delivered immediately.

Step 1: Getting started
Pick a PingChat! ID username, type it in and tap Register, then Confirm. If it isn’t available, you’ll be informed and have to pick again.

Step 2: Add your avatar
The initial interface is fairly empty so tap on the Buddies/Profile icon, tap on your own profile and then on Choose Photo for your avatar.

Step 3: Fill in details
Tap on Display Name if you want something different from your PingChat! ID and tap on Status to let people know what you are up to. Tap on Save.

Step 4: Add a friend
On the same screen tap on the + sign to the left of Buddies. Enter the PingChat! ID of your friend then tap on Done. Repeat for all the people you know.

Step 5: Write a message
Tap on the green chat icon. In the New Message screen tap + and then on the contact you want. Tap the paperclip and then Choose Existing Medium.

Step 6: Add a photo
Select a photo from your album, then tap Confirm. The image is uploaded and sent. You are now in a chat session with your contact.

Click on the image below to zoom in on the annotations.