VCNC, a Korean app developing company, has recently launched an app for the iOS platform called Between’. The app, which is targeted at couples, intends to make communication and day to day interactions smoother among couples. On first look, one would expect such an app to ensure you never forget your partner’s birthday or anniversary, and Between does just that. Along with a synchronized calendar, comes an IM(instant messaging) service, an easy photo share option, cute stickers for couples to share and notes, in both text and multimedia format.
The key marketing line by VCNC for Between is that one can create their own space, just for two’. This makes the app different from other IM services in that it is exclusively mutual for you and your partner, eliminating distractions like groups and constant notification. But the uniqueness of the app, to me at least, seems dubitable. This is because it is almost equivalent to creating a group for just you and your partner on any other app that provides IM.
Regardless, TechCrunch magazine claims that Between has raised $3 million and is fast expanding into Japan and the rest of the Asian market. This wide reach is reflected in the vast variety of languages the app is available in which includes English, Korean, Japanese and even Mandarin, among others. What remains to be seen is whether couples would actually take the effort to download a sizeable app(around 45 MB) that basically provides services similar to WhatsApp, with the only difference being mutual exclusivity to couples and a shared Calendar service. One thing Between would most definitely help with is planning events through the month on a synchronized calendar. Be it birthdays, football practice, yoga, grocery shopping or even her time of the month, keeping track becomes awfully simple with a synchronized calendar that comes with reminders and alerts.
Between, which is now available on the Android platform via Play Store for free, claims a user base of over 13 million couples, which is an astounding number considering how recently the app was launched. Most of the user feedback is positive and supportive, with the biggest acknowledgement going out to the level of privacy the app provides due to its mutual exclusivity. But then again, to what extent Between is secure as compared to other IMs whose data leaks have been in the news time and again remains yet to be seen.
The interface for iOS is smooth and comfortable to use with easy slide-in slide-out features for reminders and alerts. The design is simple and convenient and targets functionality over looks. The soft glow and rounded edges are typical of the Jobs era of Apple apps. The Android version, though is slightly more raw and while being perfectly good, lacks the smooth design that the iOS version provides. The biggest issue the app faces is size. At 45.5MB (37MB for Android), it is one of the heavier apps that eat up a lot of space. This is no issue on high end phones with high RAM and clock speeds but might be an issue in lower end cell phone models.
All in all, Between breaks the mould and provides something completely different at a time when IM apps are all about including more people and making bigger groups. In a strange sense, Between does quite the opposite by letting you connect to just one other person, the one you value most, your loved one. In a world where the startling growth of population both offline and online is stifling individualism, Between is a highly individualistic app with individually customizable options. This makes Between a stellar renegade among today’s conventional apps.