Upcoming iPhone app ‘Ping’ fuses email and instant messaging

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There’s a war going on right now for email, and a major battleground is the mobile app space. On iOS alone, there are a number of applications that promise to change the way you use electronic mail like Mailbox and Dispatch.

And today we’re adding another one to the list: Ping. Ping is an upcoming iPhone app that packs a number of useful features like snooze, push notifications and search, and it can replace email conversations with IM-like threads…

It works like this. When you’re emailing a non-Ping user, the app acts like a normal email client—you can set custom notifications, defer messages, and search your inbox. But the real magic occurs when the recipient is a Ping user.

When the recipient is a Ping user, the app automatically switches into instant messaging mode complete with typing indicators (those little dots that show the other party is typing), read receipts, and various file attachment options.

And of course, your messages will send instantly—as opposed to the few minutes you have to wait for email. And the cool thing is, when you go to check your inbox later, all of your instant messages have been turned back into normal emails.

The folks over at The Verge have had a chance to go hands-on with an early version of the application, and they claim that while things are still a bit buggy, the app feels like as much of a revelation as iMessage upon first trying it.

Ping is scheduled to launch on September 18, but it looks like they are doing an upfront reservation system. So if you’re interested, you’ll want to head on over to Pingapp.com to reserve your spot before things start to get really crowded.

What do you think of Ping?