If you’re a “Breaking Bad” fan, you probably remember the wheelchair-bound, DEA-hating character Hector “Tio” Salamanca, best known for his habit of ringing a small bell to communicate — one ding meant yes, two dings meant no.
Well, it turns out that somebody decided to take that idea of bell-based communication and turn it into a mobile app called Dingbel, and they have even recruited Mark Margolis, the actor who played Hector Salamanca in “Breaking Bad,” to be the official spokesperson.
At its core, Dingbel is basically a spinoff of other single-button communication apps such as Yo. You can tap and double-tap on a friend in your contacts to send them a single or double ding — one ding means yes, two dings means no.
The concept of Dingbel isn’t exactly new; sometimes you just need a fast way to get somebody’s attention without writing a message out. So if Dingbel has any quiet brilliance, it’s that the app makes the concept of a push-notification messaging app easy to understand for the general public by tying it to a use case from a popular TV show.
Like a one-word greeting or tap on the shoulder, people can use Dingbel as both an attention-getter and as a way to receive confirmation. Want to see if a co-worker is ready to grab lunch? Send them a single ring, and if they ring you back once, they’re ready to go — twice, and you know that they’re still busy.
Obviously there are a ton of possible use cases with Dingbel, but they all boil down to convincing your friends to download yet another messaging app, and I think most will find they’d rather send a quick one-word text or emoji instead.
Dingbel is available on both iPhone and Apple Watch, but the promotional video makes it clear the app is targeting the Apple Watch primarily, a natural choice seeing as the device is built upon the idea of streamlining communication and making notifications feel more personal.
You can download Dingbel for iPhone and Apple Watch over at the App Store.