If you're a "Breaking Bad" fan, you probably remember the wheelchair-bound, DEA-hating character Hector "Tio" Salamanca, best known for his habit of ringing a small bell to communicate — one ding meant yes, two dings meant no.
Well, it turns out that somebody decided to take that idea of bell-based communication and turn it into a mobile app called Dingbel, and they've even recruited Mark Margolis, the actor who played Hector Salamanca in "Breaking Bad," to be the official spokesperson.
At its core, Dingbel is basically a spinoff of other single-button communication apps such as Yo. You can tap and double-tap on a friend in your contacts to send them a single or double ding — one ding means yes, two dings means no.
The concept of Dingbel isn't exactly new; sometimes you just need a fast way to get somebody's attention without writing a message out. So if Dingbel has any quiet brilliance, it's that the app makes the concept of a push-notification messaging app easy to understand for the general public by tying it to a use case from a popular TV show.
Like a one-word greeting or tap on the shoulder, people can use Dingbel as both an attention-getter and as a way to receive confirmation. Want to see if a co-worker is ready to grab lunch? Send them a single ring, and if they ring you back once, they're ready to go — twice, and you know that they're still busy.
Obviously there are a ton of possible use cases with Dingbel, but they all boil down to convincing your friends to download yet another messaging app, and I think most will find they'd rather send a quick one-word text or emoji instead.
Dingbel is available on both iPhone and Apple Watch, but the promotional video makes it clear the app is targeting the Apple Watch primarily, a natural choice seeing as the device is built upon the idea of streamlining communication and making notifications feel more personal.