iotum's Talk-Now for BlackBerry Gets Better

by Bruce Stewart

talknow.jpgI sat down with Alec Saunders last week at ETel to hear about the work that iotum has been doing on their new application that extends presence to BlackBerry devices called Talk-Now. As most of you probably know, presence is a very crucial concept for Alec and iotum (check out Alec's posts on “New Presence” and the Voice 2.0 Manifesto and What is the real impact of New Presence? for some great discussion on the topic). Alec and iotum believe that presence will be the foundation that interesting and successful new communications apps and services will be based on, and Talk-Now is a great example of iotum putting these beliefs to work in a working, real-world application.

The basic idea of Talk-Now is to allow BlackBerry users to extend their presence information to other BlackBerry users in a simple and useful way that will facilitate improved communications. This latest version has some significant improvements, including a new Contacts list that shows every one of your contacts that is also a Talk-Now user, a new presence state that is color-coded yellow for "Busy, but interruptible" (for people you have granted this privilege to), and a re-vamped setup wizard that runs directly on a BlackBerry (removing the need for a PC-based set up). These are some serious improvements, and it's exciting to see how fast Talk-Now is iterating into what looks like a very useful application for BlackBerry users.

The new version of Talk-Now can be downloaded today at