We've found that in the Gorge, Cell phone rules. So this year somebody with more than one brain cell got us all in the group to carry our cells and do group texts to be in touch. But still there were problems. I think android vs. ios has some cracks also some of us are tech stoopid. One of us might have had the messages set to BCC (which means “blind carbon copy” in old English). Using BCC strips addresses from the header - so the message only shows one person and you can't see any group at all.
I got an app called “Group Text”, but this is not a mainstream app. I'm trying “WhatsApp” and this is impressive. So far it's free. Allows phone calls using data (free for most). you can set up groups easy. Seems to work well across platforms. I'm not a 'droid wonk, so please contribute to this post if you see improvement.
I'm dumping “Group Text” and recommend WhatsApp for when we set downwinders. If we can look after each other it makes a difference. We want to stay off of rescue boats if we can. They will have all the customers they need. I'm talking here only about our own downwinders. Ones that we set or even just a few of us paddling together.
For the big events, its always a buckaroo bonsai rodeo. Its probably not practical to try to look out for own little group scattered all over a field of racers.
WhatsApp works for Android
The find my friends app. Works good. Shows the location of everyone without texting or fiddling with your phone. Will not work though if you are under water. Has saved a lot of answering the phone when things are picking up.
What'sapp works better than sms/mms in multi platform group texts. I constantly miss parts of group sms if I'm the only Android user and everyone else is using iMessage.
We've used it w multiple sim cards internationally as well
I've hit my head against this one, seems some phones weren't allowing share of location. rd
argh, I've had trouble with “find my friends” due to non-share of location. rd
Reivers, if we know we have a purpose for allowing someone to know where we are, we can override or allow sharing.
WhatsApp is a Facebook client that works on iOS and Android, allowing for cohesive group messaging without the splinter of iMessage and whatever Google has it set for on Android this month…
I’m pretty sure WhatsApp is used by many of the pros because it functions better directly over WiFi for international paddling, versus iMessage and SMS switching back and forth, iMessage allowing WiFi and SMS not.
If we do decide to use WhatsApp we could create a group.
But if we wanted to create a better overall cohesive experience for our paddling community I would suggest the use of Discord. Discord is much like WhatsApp, available on iOS and Android (I’m pretty sure) and allows the manager/admin to create voice and text channels within a grouped domain.
It is mainly used for gaming but it could have beneficial features for this community. If anyone is interested in running a trail with a small group I can set it up and manage it.
Awesome JONAS!!! I didn't understand all of that stuff, but we need a 'tech-wonk' for sure.
This would be the smart thing for any time we set a downwind run. Problem is several of us (like me) are lugnuts that will require hand holding each time.
I can record a video of my screen of how to get it set up, I’ll get the server running when I get off work, and send you the invite link so we can get a trial going with 5-10 of us, then open it up to everyone…
I've used discord before so if you add me to the trial group I can help people figure it out as well…
guys, I'm worried that it's always going to need a sys-admin type. Also, does discord work just off data minutes? does it require wifi?
The reviews favor gamers who are stationary. One of our target uses is guys on the river or out in the middle of the bay. Will discord work for that?
I believe Discord’s primary advantage is that it would allow us to call each other names in real time without typing into our phones.
Last week, I found a group text to be a pretty good way for a group to start off at a put-in with a shared way to communicate after paddling. The extra moment to add each of “today’s” paddlers to a single text might also be a great little check-in for everyone before heading out. However, I don’t think many of us are going to reach for our phones to chat or check on folks mid paddle, especially in any kind of wind.
What some of these other tools could bring to the game is dots on maps showing our locations. That could be a very big deal addition if we are wondering where some laggard has wondered off to.
I don’t believe Discord has any location features and there is the ability to call and text directly as well as larger group voice and text channels.
Like any other third party messaging service it will use cellular data in the same way that video streaming, email, or social media apps would use when disconnected from WiFi.
OK, I'm in with location, but Michael nailed it. No way to fiddle with phone while on the water … at least during a big run. This would be amazing if 1) set up/ check-in for pre-paddle, 2) head count and lost ducky locate afterwards.
can u make it for stoopid-me?
I’ll be a guinea pig.
We use an App called “Group Me” for organizing DWR’s. Feel free to install it and be annoyed by the chatter of our ranks (about 10 strong) when wind is forecast. Search for “North Island Downwinders” to find us. Works well on cellular or WiFi connection.
I think WhatsApp is the same idea from a different provider… one google owned, one Facebook owned maybe?