Presense FAQ

Presense is unlike any other app you have used before.  Here are some common questions we have received from our users:

Q: I'm registered! Now what?

Immediately after registering, anyone with Presense on their phone will start to see your availability automatically.  The next time they look in their contacts and find your name, a busy indicator will be shown if you are not currently available. 

Conversely, anyone who has Presense installed on their phone will automatically share their availability with you.  The number of your contacts found with Presense installed on their phone will appear as the "Connections" count on the My Status page on your phone.  Simply tap that number to reveal who those people are.

Don't see any contacts? Invite them to Presense and you'll be seeing each other's availability in minutes.

Q: How do I add people to Presense to see their availability?

All contact management for Presense is done through the built-in Contacts app on your phone.

Simply add new contacts in that app and be sure to include the telephone number they used to register with Presense.  Presense will automatically pick up the new user and start showing their availability on your phone (you can kick-start the process by simply opening the Presense app). 

Q: Do I have to open the Presense app to see if people are busy?

Nope!  This is one of the most useful and powerful features of Presense: the availability of others is shown directly in the apps you use most, like Mail, Messages, Phone, and even 3rd party apps like WhatsApp. 

This allows you to make communication decisions right from within those apps, without having to think of checking another app (Presense) first.  For instance, if Joe is shown as busy in the Phone app, you probably want to send him a message instead of trying to call him.

Q: So when do I have to open the app?

The short answer: pretty much never!  

Everything happens magically in the background and you only really need to use the app the customize settings and – of course – invite your friends! As more people start using the app, their availability will seamlessly begin to appear throughout your phone.

Q: How do I customize my availability?

Presense is designed to be as "set it and forget it" as possible.  To accommodate this, the app uses data available on your phone to help ascertain your availability and share it with your contacts that also have Presense.

The initial release of Presense exclusively uses your calendars to determine when you are available.  You can pick which calendars best represent your availability (e.g. a Work calendar vs. a shared calendar) in the Settings > Calendars section of the app.

Q: Is my data protected?

We have gone to great lengths to keep your privacy and data protected.  Though we use personal data from your device like contacts and calendars to make the app work seamlessly, we only read the specific bits we need and then one-way hash everything before it is sent to us.  

In non-geek-speak, this means that your data is used in a way that cannot be decrypted or read, not even by us! Part of the magic of Presense is providing all of its capabilities using raw encrypted data; no small feat but very much worth it.

Q: Is there an Android version of Presense?

No, Presense is only available on iOS devices at this time.  If you would like Android support, please vote for it in the Ideas section of the help center!

Q: Why did you build Presense?

Doesn't it seem weird that we are still contacting people blindly, just like we have since the advent of the telephone?

Well, we think so!  Presense is an effort to intelligently use data and technology to turn that situation on its head, enabling us to make more informed communication decisions.

You can help us make this paradigm shift by sharing with your contacts; let's see how far we can take this concept!!

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