Cola launches its app for smarter, more interactive text messages

Do you sometimes get the feeling that you’re having a looooooong text conversation to accomplish some fairly simple planning? I’ve certainly had tedious back-and-forths where I’m trying to figure out when to meet with someone, and then where, and so on.

That’s the problem that a startup called Cola is looking to solve. I first wrote about the company in November, when it announced its private beta. Today, it’s publicly launching its iOS app.

Cola is a messaging app, but with “Cola Bubbles” that add more interactivity and functionality. So instead of texting someone “Hey, when do you want to meet?” you can just send them a Bubble with three times when you’re available, they can choose the option or options that work for them, then you can both add it to your calendar. Or if you’re running late, instead of typing out a message describing where you are and when you’ll arrive, you can just opt to share your location with someone for 15, 30 or 60 minutes.

Other Bubbles include polling and shared to-do lists. None of these things might sound all that unique on their own, but the point is make this all accessible from a text message conversation, rather than requiring you to open a bunch of different apps. (And yes, you can send Bubbles to people who don’t have the Cola app.)