Cola: Because Texting is Hard?

Isn’t text messaging just the worst? Isn’t it so difficult to have a text conversation with someone because you have to, y’know, send more than one text? There’s got to be a better way!

I’m sorry, wait… What’s that? Texting is just fine as it is? Hmm. You’re absolutely right. But don’t tell that to the goobers behind the new Cola app.


Go Bubbles Yourself, Pal

What does this new messaging app do that’s any different or better than the straight-up text function that was built into your phone? An example that the Cola crew gives involves planning something with a friend—when and where to meet for a dinner, let’s say. With Cola, you can send “Cola Bubbles” with different times that you’re available, and the recipient can choose the one that works best for him/her, and then you can both add it right to your calendar.

Last I checked, you can do the same thing with a normal text. A: “Hey dude, I could do 2:00, 3:00, or like 5:00”. B: “Cool. Let’s meet up at [wherever] at 3:00”. Simple as that, no bubbles required.

Another “use” for Cola that the company suggests: If you’re running late, you can share your location with whoever for 15, 30, or 60 minutes so they know where you are. Or you could just send a text: “Sorry. Running late. Be there ASAP.” Why should anyone use this stupid app, again?

Battleship Dave Temkin

“Messaging apps are never done,” said Cola CEO David Temkin, who also helped develop the TechCrunch mobile app. “They are the core function of [smartphones]. They will never stop evolving.”

That may be true, but what Temkin has apparently forgotten is that evolution does not necessarily equal improvement. Text messaging works fine and is fine just the way it is. It does just what the name suggests—sends a message with text for the recipient to read. Adding Cola’s bells and whistles does not improve that functionality, it makes it needlessly complex.

The Cola team insists that by, for example, being able to add events to your calendar straight from their app, they’re simplifying the process by eliminating the need to open and use multiple apps. I was not aware that that was a difficult proposition, or even necessary. I know that my mobile device automatically adds stuff to my Google calendar whether I want it to or not. (“You can adjust the settings so it—” you say. “Shut up,” I interject.) Cola brings nothing new to the table.

And if you’re having such a hard time making plans with a friend via text, maybe just call them and discuss. That is the core function of a smartphone. That’s the “phone” part. Pay attention.

Fortunately, Cola is free, so you won’t be out anything once you install it and realize it’s completely unnecessary and useless.

Photo credit: Musée Steinberg’s via / CC BY

Leave a Reply