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Here's a mobile phone application that offers the rich array of communication functions normally available on social networking websites, even on a low-end phone without any Internet connectivity!
The name says it all!
Cellmate, the flagship product of mCliques, is a peer-to-peer mobile social networking application offering rich features like sending instant messages, setting up group reminders, RSVPs, taking polls among group mates, sharing a checklist or to-do list for a group project, and conducting group discussions just like on Web forums. The platform also makes available the chronological history of all the messages and replies exchanged related to a particular message.
Unlike many other mobile group products, Cellmate does not need users to sign up for a wireless Internet plan as the product works on top of good old SMS functionality. "Cellmate has been designed from the ground up for mobile phones. The idea behind Cellmate is that users should have private/regular conversations on their cell phones, rather than on the socionet portals or mobile apps with mandatory GPRS (general packet radio service) connections," says Rupesh Shetty, co-founder, mCliques.
Cellmate can run on any mobile phone that supports J2ME (Java) run time - the most ubiquitous mobile platform today. Most handsets, including many lower end handsets, come with Java runtime pre-installed. Cellmate needs very little memory to run, and the downloadable Cellmate binary is less than 64 KB in size, which is in line with the most stringent restrictions placed by many older generation handsets on downloadable Java applications. All of which means Cellmate can be downloaded and run on the widest possible range of mobile phones including older, lower end handsets.
Susheel Aroskar, co-founder, mCliques, shares the details on the basic technology behind the platform: "On a conceptual level, it is similar to sending a normal text message from your cell phone to your friend's cell phone, except that the Cellmate messages offer much richer functionality than plain vanilla SMS. Cellmate adds a lot of structure on top of a plain SMS while also encrypting it automatically to make much richer functionality available to Cellmate users (like polls, shared checklists, event reminders, etc) in a secure manner."
Since Cellmate uses SMS as its transport medium, the platform enjoys the advantage of being ubiquitous and provides always on, push notification capabilities. This means that users don't have to keep Cellmate running on their handset to receive messages. Also, they do not need to launch Cellmate from time to time to check if any new message has arrived in their inbox.