Intel Free Press/flickr

Intel Free Press/flickr

A new messaging app allows you to forego the waiting and see what your friends are typing even before the message is sent.

We’ve all been there — you meet a cute girl or guy at a party and you exchange phone numbers. The next morning, you excitedly wake up to a new message from that person and send a quick reply, only to stare at your screen in frustration for the next few minutes as that “dot, dot, dot” floats in the speech bubble below your message for what seems like ages.

Finally, the phone buzzes. You slide to read the new message and all that awaits you is… a smiley face emoticon.

What were they really going to say? After all, it doesn’t take three minutes for a person to find a basic emoji. Beam, [tweetable alt=”Messaging #app launched in South Africa, #Beam, lets you know what your friends are typing, letter by letter.” hashtag=””]a new messaging app that’s recently been launched in South Africa, lets you know what your friends are typing, letter by letter, before you receive the message.[/tweetable]

Real Time Conversation

Tania Hew, Beam’s VP of Marketing, tells htxt.africa that the messaging app “[tweetable alt=”The messaging #app #Beam mimics the way we conduct verbal conversations, says @htxtafrica.” hashtag=””]mimics the way we conduct verbal conversations.[/tweetable]” According to Hew, one of the thrills of using Beam is that it allows you to “see what a person is typing as the person is typing, and you can interrupt their texts and chime in with your own texts too, all in real time, just as you would in a verbal conversation.”

Beam recently added a new feature that allows you to tell whether or not your friend is reading as you type, of if they’re away from the app.

Beam is currently available for free download in South Africa and is doing well in countries such as Nigeria and India, where it was released late last year. Developers are working on making the app available in more countries, and an Android redesign and iOS launch are expected later in 2015.

Michael Ursino/flickr

Michael Ursino/flickr

Brave New World

For those of you who are still a little unnerved about technology’s pervasive (and some would say invasive) role in our social lives, this probably isn’t the technology for you. Many people prefer texting over calling someone because it gives them more time to develop responses to questions or comments.

Although Beam mirrors real time conversation, it takes away much of the texter’s privacy. Writing allows you to revise, rethink, and be certain of what you want to say before you press send.

When you’re speaking to a friend, you can judge how a comment is being received by their facial and tonal reactions, but texting does not give you that opportunity. While Beam can let users know what their friends are thinking while they’re typing, there isn’t an app that lets us read their minds when they’re not.

We can’t take back what we send, and we can’t make a person reply, so maybe it’s better to have that extra thinking time — at least for now.

Make Your Own App

Whether Beam is the long-awaited solution to your texting frustrations or an added stressor, the power is now in your hand to take care of one of those not-so-smart aspects of the smartphone.

Now you don’t even have to wait for app developers to solve these problems for you. Infinite Monkeys allows inexperienced developers to create their own apps for as little as a dollar a month. It can take just minutes to master the drag-and-drop interface, add the features you want, and create a basic app.

Make sure you start turning your ideas into real apps now, before the person you’re texting sees what you’re about to create!