A new app to hit the iOS App Store and Google Play is Sidecar. The service is essentially a phone service with a little something extra. When you're on the phone and something is happening outside your bedroom window or in the coffee shop you're sitting in, you usually have to describe what's happening in front of you only with words. The app wants to let you send video or photos of what's happening in front of you to the person you're on the phone with. Within the United States and Canada, Sidecar allows its users to call non-Sidecar users for free and outside those two countries, you can call anywhere in the world for free, as long as your call recipient is a Sidecar user. Like FaceTime, however, the app will only let you call over Wi-Fi, which, while on the one hand will save you data bill shocks, on the other doesn't allow you to send the person you're talking to any media of what might be happening, while you're walking on the street. Of course, for the latter purpose, you can just take video on your phone and upload to Instagram and Socialcam (or any other social network of your choice).
Screenshots of Sidecar on iOS
When you are on the phone using Sidecar and you want to send your recipient a photo, you make the taps you need to send the photo with and in the meanwhile, the app automatically places your call on speakerphone. Of course, you can perform the same function without Sidecar and use your data to send a picture, however, the benefit of Sidecar to those of us outside the U.S seems to be that we can call other Sidecar users for free with Wi-Fi. The app has been released for the iOS and Android platforms, so it's not platform bound, like FaceTime is. However, VoIP services like Skype already perform this function. Additionally, to send your recipient photos and videos while on a call with them, they have to have Sidecar to receive the content. They will be sent an SMS prompting them to download the app when you try to call them from the app.
Sidecar is currently available for iOS devices running iOS 5 and up and for Android devices running version 2.3.3 and up. Both versions of the app are free and currently available on their respective app stores. Will you use this app? Do you think it's useful? Let us know in the comments section below.
Publish date: May 23, 2012 3:20 pm| Modified date: December 18, 2013 10:20 pm