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'Who's In' is Microsoft's new group-planning app for iMessage

Why it matters to you

We all know the pain of trying to hammer out plans over text, and Who's In aims to solve that problem.

Microsoft has just released a new iMessage app that’s designed to make it easier for you and your friends to figure out what to do and when to do it. It’s called Who’s In, and — at least on paper — it seems like one of the more useful social apps out of the company as of late.

With Who’s In, you can search for restaurants, activities, and events — or make your own — and put them to a group vote. The app will create a card for the hangout, and when other members of your chat tap on it, they can give it a thumbs up or thumbs down. You can also offer multiple times and dates, and leave it up to the majority to pick the best one.

That last point could be somewhat useful. Anyone who’s ever tried to organize anything over text with multiple people knows the grueling back-and-forth that inevitably follows. Opinions are split, a few people aren’t quite aware of what’s going on, and there’s always somebody who forgets to respond. Actually, on second thought, Who’s In probably won’t do you much good for that last problem.

Anyway, it’s a neat little tool that looks to save time and effort and could prove its worth — provided people can find and download it. Apple’s store for iMessage apps has been criticized for being poorly designed and confusing to use, which is obviously problematic for software that relies on awareness and adoption in social circles.

Who’s In is also Microsoft’s second iOS-focused social app released in as many days, following Sprinkles, an AI-powered photo-captioning app that can also guess your age and identify your celebrity doppleganger.

Who’s In not to be confused with Who’s Down, an app Google briefly tested a couple years back with college students that let users broadcast their availability. Despite the naming similarity, Who’s In doesn’t work quite the same way — and Microsoft is likely hoping it doesn’t suffer quite the same fate. The app is free and available on iPhone now.