One of the main issues of playing online with friends is the organising. Here at Midlife Gamer we have the forum, but what if someone doesn’t frequent it? Texts are great but pretty useless for group communication. Twitter and Facebook are handy but not everyone wants to have social networking tools grasp it’s fingers around their lives.
A solution for this issue could be in the form of a recently launched smartphone app, WEWANA:PLAY. This ingenious little application takes the hassle out of trying to coordinate across various methods of communication and tries to put it all under one roof.
After downloading the app and registering your account you can start adding your friends. There’s handy buttons to invite folks that you think would interested too, you can do this via text message or on Facebook.
When you want to organise a session you hit the ‘Create Event’ button. This allows you to choose the game you want to play, plus set the day and time. Once you’ve done this select ‘Invite Friends’ and pick those who you want to play with.
Doing this sends out a push notification to all those you’ve invited and they have a choice of accepting or rejecting your invitation and their decision is sent as a notification back to organiser. There’s also a comment wall for any discussion (or trash talk) and, again, all invited will get notified of anything posted on there. The app will also let everyone know of any changes to the event, for example if it’s been put back an hour due to some unplanned real-life event.
In my opinion the push notifications are what sells the app. While others have tried to integrate the social side of your gaming network with your mobile handset, for example Xbox Smartglass, there’s always been a lack of instant updates for things like messages and the much touted Beacon feature is pretty much next to useless. WEWANA:PLAY takes the idea of these two features, adds in more and makes it all work instantly.
It’s very early days for WEWANA:PLAY, and it’s still in a beta phase, but there’s certainly a huge amount of promise in this app. In the few weeks I’ve had it installed on my Android phone there’s been several updates, all of which have brought new features or refinements. The developers have big plans for the future and have announcements lined up to push it to a bigger stage and I’m really excited to see how it matures in time. Next up in their plans is to push Steam integration to the app and testing is already going on so expect this feature to launch soon.