Our complaint about NYC-based Peek‘s super-simple email gadget: For its price, it’s a little too simple. We like the idea of a mobile gadget that doesn’t make phone calls. But to be worth $20 a month, it needs more.
Good news: Peek is working on a feature that will let its subscribers send and receive unlimited text messages to/from mobile phones from their Peeks. (In addition to unlimited emails.)
How? Peek is taking advantage of the fact that most mobile phones can receive text messages that have been emailed to them, and can send text messages to an email address. Peek CEO Amol Sarva says the feature will be rolled out over the next few weeks.
Is this the same as texting from one phone to another? Not quite — there could be some lag if Peek isn’t constantly checking for new mail. And it will be a little clumsier for your friends to reach you — typing in email addresses on a Razr isn’t exactly easy. (In theory, that gets simpler once you’re stored in their phones.) But it’s certainly better than nothing — especially for free.
How did they come up with the idea? Sarva says a group of techies have latched on to the cheap Peek — on sale for $80 this week at Target — and are testing its limits. Peek now has a blog for these folks at Geeky Peek; one Tumblr user has also been especially active.
Meanwhile, Peek is leading Time Magazine’s gadget of the year voting booth; beating out Apple’s (AAPL) MacBook and iPod touch, the EyeFi SD Card for digital cameras, and Google’s (GOOG) T-Mobile G1 phone.
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