Android: Thrutu is a free app that acts as a socially interactive layer for Android’s phone interface once a call has connected. It allows you to send information like your current location, a photo, contact information, or even a doodle that was drawn while speaking. If both people in the conversation have Thrutu installed on their phones, they can interactively draw together on a doodle whiteboard, see each other’s locations on a shared map, or even nudge the other person awake with a vibration. There are more actions that can be performed with plug-ins that can be installed after the main app, like sending money through PayPal or flipping a virtual coin to help nudge decisions along.
One major feature in Thrutu is its ability to work whether the phone on the other side of the call has it installed or not. If a Thrutu user is calling somebody without the app, items like photos, locations or contacts that are shared are sent as SMS messages (with a short link to a web page if necessary). This works automatically, and in the case of photos, automatically uploads them and shares a short link in the SMS message.
When both users have the app installed, all sharing is virtually instant. When one user presses the map button, a map pops up on the other user’s screen with location markers. The location-sharing map also has a pen tool, so users can show each other what direction or area they’re referring to by drawing on the map. If one user presses the doodle button, a whiteboard pops up on both screens — and each user can draw immediately (both get a different colour).
To make the interactive sharing even more useful, an image is saved to each phone’s downloads folder after every doodling or mapping session if the users drew with the pen tool, so there’s no worrying about needing to save in case the call drops.
Sharing contacts is just as easy, and just as fast. In the case of sending an SMS message, all contact info is sent cleanly formatted, allowing most modern smartphones to immediately use the information sent (like phone numbers, addresses, URLs or email addresses).
There are currently 10 plug-ins available to install directly from the app. Thrutu calls them “buttons”, and they go straight to the slide-out drawer once installed. Buttons like My Twitter or My Flickr allow two Thrutu users to view profiles or status updates at the same time, while another called Shared Search allows simultaneous searching and viewing of search results (which, as simple as it is, could be extremely useful).
Basically, Thrutu makes phone calls more interactive than voice can accomplish on its own, and it does it in a way that allows both parties to benefit regardless of what phone or service they’re on.