The road to HeyTell was paved with good intentions

A successful app solves a problem, i.e., Venmo and Uber. With a new app popping up every other day, it’s no surprise that only a few stick around. HeyTell, the glorified walkie-talkie, was one of those that fizzled out after about a year or so.

HeyTell had all the right ideas. It was a new, quick way to communicate with friends and was way safer than texting and driving. If Siri wasn’t so good at taking dictation, I think HeyTell could have hung in there a little longer.


Speaking of, Apple does a great job of incorporating and reusing other app ideas into its continual software updates. For example, GroupMe, a group messaging app with a feature that allowed you to turn off notifications and/or leave a group you didn’t want to be in. GroupMe was, and is, another solid idea that created an alternative means of group communication. Rather than having your phone buzz every other second, or checking your email constantly, GroupMe was the perfect solution to alleviating everyones’ headache.

Despite its success and popularity, GroupMe will now have to face off with the latest iPhone software update. Technology is all about making life easier for people, and a big part of that is consolidation. Apple is great with consolidation. The last time I used my digital camera was in 2009. The last album I bought at an actual record store was Avril Lavigne’s “Let Go” in 2002.  Smartphones are a great avenue for apps to find success, so long as Apple doesn’t recreate and streamline them as its own.

Mass media communications requires a lot of trial and error, especially in the app developing process. It also has to be one step ahead, offering something no one else can. Therefore, I would say HeyTell gets an “A+” for effort and innovation — over and out.


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