Thursday, September 18, 2008

Flutter in the Media

A bit late posting this, but here's the first round-up of some awesome press coverage Flutter got around the world:

San Francisco Chronicle
Front-page of business section: “JuiceCaster is doing what Apple didn't. It's giving iPhone 3G users some picture-messaging love.”

Flutter to Help iPhone users get the picture
"In addition, Flutter users can geo-tag any picture they send, taking advantage of the GPS functionality built into the latest iPhones. When you tag a photo with your location, Flutter adds a link to the message that lets recipients see where you are on the built-in Maps application."

Stuff Magazine
Photo messaging finally comes to the iPhone
“Flutter, which you can nab now from the App Store, lets you fire off snaps to your mates, MMS–style, meaning you no longer have to bleat about the iPhone ‘not being fully featured’ (ignoring the copy and paste issue, natch).”

iPhone gets MMS
"For all its forward-thinking feature goodness, the iPhone is missing a lot of things that we’ve all come to expect from modern cellphones. On Monday JuiceCaster will plug one of those holes ..."

JuiceCaster brings MMS to the iPhone with Flutter
"... [a] function that has generally eluded iPhone users, often to their irritation, given the power that is packed into the slim, multi-touch device, is the very basic and nearly universal MMS, or multimedia messaging."

Mobile Crunch
Flutter: It's MMS for the iPhone ... sort of
“Juice Wireless, the folks behind JuiceCaster, have a different vision for the future - one where MMS functionality is provided for all. Even iPhone users.”

Killer Startups
MMS for the iPhone
“The folks from JuiceCaster have just become our office’s favorite iPhone app manufacturers.”

JuiceCaster tries to fill iPhone MMS gap with Flutter
“First off, we have to say that we’re pretty impressed that Apple even let this application through to the App Store. Whatever the case may be, rejoice iPhone owners as you can finally [sort of] have some MMS love on your handsets without the need to jailbreak.”

Wireless Week
iPhones get Flutter
“The iPhone can do lots of things really well. However, sending pictures is not one of them. Social networking company JuiceCaster has developed an app that will help out the Big Apple.”

Unwired Review
iPhone gets MMS picture messaging with Flutter
“A long-awaited feature for the iPhone has finally been added thanks to a third-party app. No, we’re not talking about copy-paste here yet, but we’ll get there. For now, feast your eyes (and fingers) on Flutter, a free iPhone app that lets users send photos directly to their contacts the way MMS works."

Mobile Magazine
iPhone finally gets MMS, thanks to JuiceCaster
"As amazing and popular as the iPhone 3G may be, it's seriously lacking in one very critical department and that's in multimedia messaging. Where's the MMS, Apple? Well, it seems that we can now turn to a third party for that area of functionality. JuiceCaster has tossed the Flutter application into the Apple App Store to satiate your desire for MMS on the iPhone."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

International Beta testers required for Flutter 1.0.1

Flutter 1.0.1 is ready. Won't spoil the surprises but some of your feedback is already incorporated! This release mainly fixes issues faced by international users: e.g. cannot login, cannot send picture messages, must change contacts info to international country code format etc.

So, if you're OUTSIDE NORTH AMERICA and have had issues like the ones mentioned above, then please do the following:

  1. Start iTunes on your computer
  2. Click on your iPhone under DEVICES
  3. Click your mouse into the words "Serial Number" in the middle of the screen
  4. "Serial Number" will turn into "IDENTIFIER" and some long gibber-ish code
  5. Do a screen grab and save the image file
  6. Email support at flutterpic dot com with the image attachment, your country, your carrier/operator, and registered mobile number
  7. Make sure the email subject says "INTERNATIONAL BETA 1.0.1"

Thanks folks!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Email to international users

Email from Lex to our international (outside North America) users:

Hello Friends:

Thank you for downloading Flutter! You are getting this email because our database shows that you live outside of North America and some of our users outside of North America have had trouble getting their passwords.

So, if you are not having trouble or you actually are in North America, please don't read any more of this email. Just go back to enjoying Flutter!

If you have had issues, we apologize. However, to get back on track the following few steps are very simple:

1. Delete Flutter from your iPhone and re-download it from iTunes. Don't worry, it's still free!

2. Sign-up for Flutter but just be SURE to use the international
dialing code format (e.g. 0044 or +44 if you're in the UK) when you login or register. And that is it. You'll get your password and be good to go.

Of course, our team is constantly responding to questions and concerns that you may have. We have an update coming soon, so your suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Please check out
to speak directly to one of us, and check out for any frequently asked questions.

We'll respond as quickly as humanly possible. Thanks again for your continued support!

Kind Regards,

The Flutter Team

Outside North America and you can't send messages?

Right now, this is a known issue with some carriers (operators) around the world. It seems that they don't allow image uploads on certain ports. We're investigating this currently and suggest the following:

  1. Turn data off
  2. Turn Wi-Fi on
  3. Make sure you're connected to Wi-Fi
  4. Try sending the message

If you managed to send successfully via Wi-Fi, there your carrier is blocking uploads via a 3G or 2.5G data connection. Please contact us with your carrier/operator, country and phone number - we will investigate and get back to you.

False alarm ...

I'd like to apologize to you on behalf of Blogger, for temporarily branding this blog a 'spam blog'. So much for our future in the hands of fuzzy logic.

Monday, September 15, 2008

True MMS or not to True MMS ...

Let me first say we are thrilled to see the overwhelming excitement around Flutter. And I'm not just talking about the press coverage (I'll do a full post with links tomorrow). I'm talking about your feedback and I can say this:

Listen, we hear you loud and clear about true MMS! There are a few reasons we didn’t do it this time around: first, true MMS takes longer to provision through the dozens of carriers in the US and around the world we’d want to support; second, we wanted to include the location information in a clickable link, which is harder to do in true MMS; and third is cost, of course.

What we are hearing is that you all want true MMS. We are working on making that happen. While we want to continue to give Flutter away free, we can’t “lose our shirt.” So, we’d like to ask: Would you prefer to pay for Flutter with true MMS based on the number of messages you send (like 100 messages for $5 type thing), or would you prefer a flat fee (say $9.99 for unlimited messages for one year)?

Let us know. We can easily offer this in version 1.1. We just need your help.

Flutter, JuiceCaster help with iPhone 3G photos

JuiceCaster is doing what Apple didn't. It's giving iPhone 3G users some picture-messaging love.

JuiceCaster Monday is announcing the availability of Flutter, a free application that allows people to take a picture and send it to another cell phone. Previously, iPhone users could only e-mail photos because Apple somehow decided again not to include picture messaging when it upgraded the iPhone to 3G in July.

So JuiceCaster, which is known for its mobile social networking platform, stepped in with a solution. Flutter allows you to take a picture, address it to cell phone numbers in your contacts list and add a message. The cool thing is it also allows you to use the iPhone 3G's GPS chip to geo-tag your location.

Recipients will get a text message that includes a link taking them to JuiceCaster, which will be hosting the picture, unlike traditional picture messaging where your carrier does that. In the message, they'll also get the option to see the sender's location on a Google map if the sender has enabled that feature.

The service works fine, but because JuiceCaster is the one hosting it, the mobile number the picture is sent from is JuiceCaster's. And that means you can't just hit reply and send your friend something back. You'll need to go through your own process of picture or text messaging on your phone to reply.

The nice thing about Flutter is that because it's carried over the Internet, it doesn't cost you anything more than one text message. Other carriers charge you extra to do this kind of multimedia messaging. But be aware that if the recipient doesn't have a data plan on that phone, he or she will have to pay per kilobyte to receive the message through the mobile browser.

The plan is to eventually place ads on the Flutter application, though not embed them in the actual messages. Flutter is available through the Apple App Store.

Outside North America?

International friends: Bonjour, Guten Tag, yia sou, G'day and many more,

Looks like many of you are having password/login issues. Well, since you're not even technically supposed to have Flutter yet, thank you for your patience ;-)

Can I sign-up from Country XYZ?
Most likely, yes. You need to use the international format. E.g. if you're in the UK with phone number 07779123123 enter 00447779123123, if you're in France use 0033 etc.

Why haven't I received my password?
Try signing up with the your number in international format (see above). Or, when trying to retrieve your password ("Resend Password" option), make sure you're entering it in international format.

Why aren't recipient's aren't getting my Flutter messages?
Make sure that numbers in your contact book are saved in international format. Sorry, but since Flutter isn't fully international yet, this is a workaround you'll need to use.

Why can't I send messages?
If you're trying to use your operator's 3G connection, then it could be because they don't allow media uploading. Please email us at flutter at juicecaster dot com and let us know your operator. You can then try using a Wi-Fi connection to see if it helps. If you still can't send, then your account isn't logged in properly - please email flutter at juicecaster dot com and we'll fix it for you.

If you have questions, you can use our support forum.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Not received password?

There could be a couple of reasons why you haven't received your password:

1) You're outside North America. Flutter isn't supposed to be available outside the US ... yet! So the system is not recognizing your local number format.

2) You're in North America. We have a backlog right now and working full steam to clear the queue and put in a fix to make sure you receive passwords instantly.

In the meantime, sorry about the inconvenience. Please be patient and we'll iron out the kinks by Monday.

What's the catch?

Someone asked this question in an App Store review ... well, right now there really isn't one.

It doesn't cost you anything to send messages, and it doesn't cost recipients to get messages - assuming you both have an internet connection on your phone.

You're sending as many messages as you want, right? So, really, is there a catch? No ... really, right now there is no catch.

At some point we may introduce ads, either in the text message, the message page or the app itself. We don't want it to be annoying though, so there's lots of discussions to be had. Tell us what you think.

For now, just enjoy.

How does Flutter work?

What is Flutter?

Flutter lets you send a picture message to any mobile number stored in your iPhone’s contact book.

You can also (optionally) attach your location to your message so the recipient can see where you are on Google Maps.

How do I get Flutter?

You can find Flutter at the iPhone App Store.

Does Flutter send a text message (SMS) from my phone?

No, Flutter doesn’t send an SMS directly from your phone.

Your message is uploaded to Flutter. We then send (at our cost) the recipient an SMS with a link to view your picture in their mobile browser.

How does Flutter send a message?

Your message is uploaded to Flutter. We then send (at our cost) the recipient an SMS with a link to view your picture in their mobile browser.

Do I need an iPhone 3G to use Flutter?

No, you can use Flutter on an iPhone 3G, iPhone and iPod Touch.

Note: You can only attach your location in the iPhone 3G version of Flutter.

Can I send video?

You cannot officially record videos with the iPhone … yet. So unfortunately, you cannot send videos using Flutter.

Where do I get support for Flutter?
Please send an email to support at juicecaster dot com with your mobile phone number and a description of your problem.

Is it really free to send a message using Flutter?

Yes, it’s free to send messages using Flutter.

Flutter sends messages over an internet connection e.g. WiFi or your existing carrier data plan.

Does the recipient have to pay to view my message?

The recipient pays their standard carrier charges for receiving an SMS.

If the recipient has a free SMS bundled package or their carrier doesn’t charge for receiving SMS, there is no cost to the recipient.

If the recipient also needs an internet connection to view your message:

If the recipient has a data plan, viewing the message in their mobile browser is inclusive of their carrier’s standard data plan cost.

If the recipient views your message using a mobile phone with WiFi (e.g. another iPhone) then there is no extra cost to viewing your message.

Does the recipient have to pay Flutter to view my message?

No, the recipient doesn’t pay Flutter anything.

iPhone MMS ... kind of

Flutter lets you send picture messages to anyone in your iPhone contact book. Sounds like MMS? Well, kind of ... Flutter isn't true MMS. Couple of reasons:

  1. The recipient doesn't get a true MMS. They get an SMS with a link to view your message in their phone's browser. The disadvantage of this is that the recipient needs a web-capable phone (but who do you know who doesn't have a web capable phone these days?). And the main advantage is, well ... you can send a picture message to virtually any phone number in your contact book! By displaying your picture message in the phone's browser, we can also display your location (if you chose to add it to your message) on Google Maps - now that's something you can't do using MMS! If there's enough demand, we can send true MMS ...
  2. You can't receive MMS ... yet. If there's enough demand for this feature, we'll think about adding it in a future release ... we've thought about a couple of ways of doing it.

So let us know what you think. Leave your comments below.

Picture Messaging for iPhone ... Flutter is here

Out of the blue, at around 10.49AM PDT Apple approved Flutter and we're ready to fly! (Do excuse the puns. They are intended. Otherwise, what's the point of having a name like Flutter, right?)

First of all let me introduce myself. My name is Amir and I head the product team at JuiceCaster - a mobile social networking service you can find on
AT&T, T-Mobile, Alltell, US Cellular, Nokia NSeries, Blackberry, and soon dozens of other places I can't talk about yet.

One day, taking a break from building the JuiceCaster app for the iPhone, we were sitting around lamenting the lack of MMS (picture messaging) on the iPhone - as do
many people on the interweb: "Why has Apple omitted MMS from the iPhone?" Inevitably, as these conversations go in any technology start-up, the obvious answer was, "Who knows, but let's build it." And thus, Flutter was born. Here's the official blurb:

Picture messaging takes flight for the first time on the iPhone!

Send unlimited picture messages and geo-tagged location to any mobile phone in the world. Now, you have the convenience of sending multi-media messages (MMS) to virtually any mobile phone number in your iPhone contact book.

When creating a picture or simple text message using Flutter, you have the option to attach your location. Flutter automatically adds a link to your message so friends can instantly view your location on Google Maps!

Send to one or multiple recipients at a time. Messages are sent over Wi-Fi or a data connection. Your messages are private and contact info is not stored. Start fluttering!

As I type, we're putting up the web landing page for the app. In my next post, I'll link to a short features page and a FAQ so you can find out more.

In the meantime, you can get Flutter - for free - from the App Store,
right here!