Yobongo for iPhone hands-on

Yobongo, if you haven’t heard, is a new iPhone app that meshes location-aware messaging with a chatroom-like environment, and it’s kind of amazing. By using a custom algorhytm and different variables including your location, people you have chatted with previously, or even people you know, Yobongo connects you with up to around 10 people in a single “room” and well, from there it’s one big conversation. I’ve been using Yobongo for around a week, and while the beta test didn’t use our location to work (there was most likely no one nearby since the service hasn’t launched yet), it’s a pretty incredible experience. For starters, the UI is beautiful, well thought out and extremely polished, and it’s minimalistic enough without being bare. Using the app is very straight forward — you just open it and you’re instantly placed into a room using the aforementioned data points. Messaging is very fast, almost real-time, and that’s something co-founder Caleb Eston aimed to achieve; Yobongo’s big vision is that it’s a communication system that leverages location in such a way that hasn’t been done before, we don’t believe. The iPhone app launches for free in early March in the App Store, though you can sign up now to be put on the wait list on Yobongo’s website. Hit the break for a video of the app in action.

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