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New AniMates app adds character to mobile messaging


Smith Micro Software has unveiled its new AniMates mobile messaging app that lets users personalize voice messages with talking characters, scenic backgrounds and voice effects.

Built using Smith Micro's animation software, AniMates offers a wide range of content from digital artists, allowing users to express themselves through multiple personas.

"AniMates represents a unique combination of our core competencies in 2D/3D digital design software and carrier-grade mobile messaging, bringing a compelling new experience to the Android market," said William W. Smith Jr., CEO at Smith Micro. "But what really makes AniMates unique is the content — we're cultivating a fantastic library of characters and backgrounds from an artist community of thousands who have used our animation software for years. There will be no limit to the creativity and diversity that users will be able to enjoy with AniMates characters."

AniMates was collaboratively developed by engineering teams from Smith Micro's CommSuite carrier-grade messaging platform and its Anime Studio animation software. Key features of AniMates include:

  • Sending and receiving talking character messages free

  • Diverse content library offering dozens of characters and backgrounds, with new content added every week

  • Ability to use your own photo background from the phone gallery

  • Optional voice effects with variable pitch control

  • Ability to see and manage messages from other AniMates users through an inbox view

  • Ability to share messages with anyone via email, SMS or Facebook

  • Ability to access contacts through the phone address book

  • Ability to extend recording time to 2 minutes with premium upgrade

"The problem with messaging apps today is you have to download a dozen of them to communicate with your entire network of friends, family, colleagues, etc., who are all using different apps with varying levels of personalization. We wanted to address that problem in two ways: first, AniMates users can send messages to anyone so your contacts don't have to install the app to view messages; second, AniMates can be bundled into other messaging apps, allowing developers to provide a rich, diverse library of content from their own platforms so users can express themselves wherever and however they like," said Vinay Chandra, VP of product management at Smith Micro.

AniMates is available now on the Google Play store for mobile users in the U.S. and Canada. The app comes with five free characters and five free backgrounds, with premium content available for purchase. In the coming months, Smith Micro will begin offering content bundles that include theme-based characters and backgrounds.

AniMates for iOS will be available in late July. Smith Micro also plans to expand the app to other countries and languages later this year.

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