The incredible rise of social media had led to some marvellous innovations in tech and communications, but it is sometimes easy to forget just why we all use services like Facebook. In these digital times, most people are using social networking to simply connect with their loved ones, a fact proven by the success of services such as Timehop.
Bubbles – Messages in Time has a similar theme to Timehop, but actually goes one better and provides a nostalgic element that you are in complete control of. The app allows you to create ‘bubbles’, which act a little bit like virtual time capsules. You create a bubble, fill it with photos and messages, set the time you want the bubble to be opened, and then send it to your intended recipient.
You can send bubbles to friends, or send them out to completely random strangers in order to make new friends, although be careful that you don’t put too much personal information in the bubbles you send out randomly. Once a friend receives the bubble, they have to wait until the correct time until they are able to view the contents, which has the potential to be used in a number of ways, such as romantic gestures, or a treat for the grandparents at Christmas.
You can even make your bubble anonymous, to add to the suspense for the recipient, which I think is a great little touch.
Here, straight from the developer, are the app’s best features:
– Send Bubbles one-on-one: select the contact, write a text and attach an image. Insert the date and time you desire to allow the recipient to view the Bubble. Once sent, a notification will advise the recipient that there’s a new Bubble. Only at the opening time, the contact will be able to discover what’s inside the Bubble… Rise the curiosity of your friends!
– Send Random Bubbles: With Random Bubbles you can send bubbles to some users randomly (you don’t know who will receive your random) and make new friends. The process is similar to the Bubble one-on-one: write a text, attach an image, select date and time and let the destiny decides for you!
– Send Mystery Bubbles: you can send Bubbles hiding your profile. The recipient will discover the sender’s identity at the opening time. Do you want to surprise a special person? Do you want to send a particular message and hide your profile to the recipient until the proper moment? Double the curiosity with Mystery Bubbles!
Once you have received a bubble and it has been opened, you can keep the contents forever, and capture the photos to your camera roll, which is another nice way to keep the memories. If you are the sort of person (like me!) who is always forgetting to send greetings on birthdays and other celebrations, this app is a lifesaver, as you can create a nice message months before the date, and you know it is going to arrive on time.
The app itself is well designed, with a blue and white theme that looks pleasing to the eye while also retaining an easy to use interface. If you have ever used a messaging app in the past you will have no problems here, and the added features of the dates and times are very intuitively designed.
One thing that I would love to be added in the future is the ability to send voice notes along with the pictures, as that would add another dimension to the app. Hopefully this is planned for a future update.
I really like this app, and prefer it to services like Timehop, as it is entirely curated by yourself and your friends, and doesn’t just spam you with old pictures. Everything you get through this app, aside from the more fun-orientated random bubbles, is meaningful and you know that someone put thought and time into each bubble.
Overall, this is a lovely new take of social media, taking the idea of using technology to bring people closer together to a new place: time and memories, and as such it comes highly recommended.