Sidecar 2.0 is a big upgrade. We caught up with our co-founder and CEO for some Q&A about what it is, why we built it, and what’s next.
Sidecar Team: What’s behind the name “Sidecar”?
We envision our app as enabling people to bring their friends along for the ride of life. Although we meant that almost literally at first (we started out with “see-what-I-see” video calls), as we observed the way people used Sidecar, we realized that by adding more ways to communicate we could help people bring their friends along with them throughout the day, not just during a call.
What’s the story behind 2.0?
Sidecar now blends asynchronous communication (text messages and voice notes for example) with synchronous (phone calls) into one seamless user experience. Everyone you contact with Sidecar becomes another communication “stream” in the app. So it’s easy to look back at the context of a conversation over time, and then add to it with photos, video, locations, contacts, calls and messages. We’ve also added social sharing so when you are communicating about something that’s worthy of posting to Facebook or Twitter, it’s easy to do that right from the conversation where you sent or received it.
What makes Sidecar.me different?
First and foremost, our product design. We aspired to elegance and utility and while there’s more to be done, we’re proud of the result. There’s a lot of capability built in, without a lot of clutter. Also, Sidecar doesn’t limit your communication just to others who’ve downloaded the app. We understand why other apps limit you this way. People will cope with it, but we don’t think they should have to. So we engineered Sidecar to communicate to and from any U.S. or Canadian phone number. Of course, we hope all your contacts will use Sidecar, but there will always be someone among your contacts who doesn’t have it. Extending those original goals for elegance and openness into messaging as we have with 2.0, the result is more communication, with more people, more quickly and without the hassle that comes with other apps in the category.
What’s next for Sidecar?
We’re calling this first release of 2.0 a “preview” because there’s a lot still to be done based on this foundation. Listening to the needs of real people who really use our product has always guided our development. We’re eager to see what people will do with these new messaging features. Our development roadmap includes features that will ultimately make Sidecar more useful internationally, help you offload more of your calling minutes from your cellular carrier to Wi-Fi and facilitate communication with groups. If you have ideas, requests or suggestions, we’d love to hear from you on Twitter, Facebook or via our support site.