Free text chat with models
I’m looking forward to the day when the service graduates from service to app and begins to retain state.
I take my seat on the bus and the conversation keeps going: The other obvious problem is that this interaction is as strict as the command line: If I type “23& 8ht 23M” it might not work.
Consider all those times you’ve exchanged a million texts with someone while making plans when voice would have resolved it much more quickly.
Text is often more comfortable even if it’s less convenient.
App-as-Personae is a more elegant solution to the problem I described earlier about Bus Time (i.e., it never retains a state that M23 is my bus).
There’s no need to download an app: It’s as if you could just tap on an app in the App Store and start using it within the App Store app.
I’m forever grateful to the person at the bus stop who informed me that you can text New York’s MTA service to find out exactly where the bus is and when it’s going to arrive.
Sure, an app that put the bus on a map would be more rich in information, but when I got to texting Bus Time I thought, “Thank god I don’t need to download another f------ app for this.” In contrast to a GUI that defines rules for each interaction — rules which, frustratingly, change from app to app — text-based, conversational interactions are liberating in their familiarity.
The most obvious path for Google and Apple to beat one of the messengers to the punch is to open up their own messengers: Hangouts and Messages.
That would entail disrupting their own models to some degree, but there’s yet another alternative that might preempt a runaway messenger: embed services within all text across the OS.