The limits of texting.

You already feel every single one of them.

Mobile messaging started as a copycat of ‘Desktop messaging’ apps like MSN or AIM, but in a smaller version. That was rad, you could reach your contacts from anywhere. A desktop-friendly interface scaled to fit smaller screens. We’ve been using these interfaces for a long time now and nothing has changed. My guess is, changing something that works is tricky, change is tough to come by.

Tiny keyboards.

Auto-correct mistakes & long-text nightmares.

A mobile keyboard is similar to a desktop keyboard, except that it’s 10 times smaller. It means that it is also 10 times trickier to type something on a mobile keyboard than on a desktop keyboard.

Typing on my iPhone is a struggle.

That’s why you’re constantly making mistakes while typing on a mobile device, whether it is because of the size of the keyboard or the unpredictable auto-correct feature. It gets worse when you’re typing a long-text.

Two hands needed.

Don’t even think about grabbing a coffee while texting.

When you think about it, it is almost possible to text while holding something such as a coffee, an umbrella, a suitcase.. Most of the time, the moments you are holding something is when you are outside because you have no other place to put it down.

The only way to chat is to be sitted.

Basically, it means that texting while walking for instance can appear as a very complicated task.

Too much focus.

Can’t text and do something else at the same time.

Typing a text on Messenger, WhatsApp, Hangout or any other messaging apps require a lot of focus. You’re focused on choosing the right words, the right emojis to convey the tone of the message and obviously, you’re also focused on typing with your two hands as fast as possible.

Texting is an asynchronous activity that is almost as intrusive as a call.

It means that you can’t type a message and walk normally, work correctly or simply while talking to someone IRL which are very basic human activities.

Time consuming.

Every message feels too long to type.

We’re sending a lot of texts every day. On different apps. Everyone has its favs. But every time you have to reply to a message you received there’s like this laziness that invades you.

The “I’ll answer later” texting procrastination

You want to reply now but it feels too long to grab your phone, unlock it and then type.

Medias sharing.

That moment when you copy / paste a URL on your phone.

Let’s say you’re on a social platform, scrolling a feed or whatever from your mobile device. As usual, you’re hooked by a Buzzfeed-like headline or a new video from an artist you like. So you tap on the link to read or watch the content that you find interesting or simply hilarious. Wanna forward it to someone? Ew.

Copy/pasting a link on a device is the most annoying thing you can do on a smartphone.

Basically, what you need to do is taping on ‘Share’ > ‘Copy link’ > ‘Home button’ > Open ‘Messaging app’ > Find a recipient > Tap long > Select ‘Paste’ > Finally hit ‘Send’.

Text isn’t exciting.

Even if emojis, stickers and GIFs are trying hard.

Text messaging is like Letters, it’s an awesome medium. It’s far away from the real life though. It’s just a few lines of text in a bubble, right? The content of that bubble can be interesting, hilarious or just informative, but there is always this coldness.

Never argue over text messages.

It‘s not like a Skype or a Facetime where you feel more emotions while chatting. But I know, setting up a Skype call is a mess.

Always the same messages.

What’s up? Where you at?

Even if text messaging is amazing. It still requires too much focus and remains time-consuming. The point is, despite this statement, you always have to send the same messages asking the recipient for datas like its location or the weather.

A lot of datas could already be within the message.

These messages asking for real-time datas sounds like useless and represent a waste of time for the sender as well as for the recipient.

Feel free to tweet @heytribe the missing limits.

Building an alternative.

These limits are the reason why we started @heytribe four months ago. We want to make you guys save time dealing with your contacts on mobile devices while having a funnier experience.

The private betas of this experiment called Tribe is available on tribe.pm. Feel free to jam with it and share your feedback with the team on twitter.

About me

Ping me on twitter @ldesserrey to ask anything or to share what you guys think about this. You can also log in to leave notes here on Medium and hit the “Recommend” button if you want more people to read this little piece.

laurent.io

Inside Tribe

Thoughts from the team crafting @heytribe.

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