Evite added mobile capabilities yesterday to speed up the party-planning process. Its QuickVite features let you send invitations in one step from an e-mail account or mobile phone, and handle RSVPs the same way. Of course, you can also juggle the details at Evite.com.
This could help to make managing a party less exhausting. Even picking a design for an online invitation can waste time, especially for a last-minute get together. For instance, Evite offers 57 templates for cocktail parties alone, not to mention options for dozens of events from anniversaries to weddings.
The painless sign-up process requires adding mobile numbers for yourself and friends. But it was weird that Evite didn't prompt me to add names already in my address book--a big drawback if you want 50 of your closest pals to join you on that free dinner cruise that takes off in a few hours.
You can ask QuickVite to send event details to your own phone to check who's coming or ditching. Alerts can ping you when folks reply or when a party you're attending changes. Thoughtfully, however, Evite does not set those alerts by default, so you won't be bombarded by text messages on your handset unless you ask for them.
Among some drawbacks, though, I'd like Evite to offer better integration with maps, as MyPunchbowl does. Improved integration between QuickVite and the rest of Evite features would be nice. I wish I could turn a QuickVite into a regular Evite later, in case I wanted to use the mobile invitation as a save-the-date notice, and then flesh out the details of a party when I had more free time.
Still, this is a step in the right direction for Evite, which is adding QuickVite to Facebook. A mobile application that Evite is building could very well add some of the pieces I found missing in QuickVite. In September the company added a send-to-phone capability allowing people to access party details on their handsets.
Evite manages more than 450,000 invitations every month. It's owned by IAC Search & Media, the parent of the Ask.com search engine and Bloglines feed reader.
(See more party-planning services here.)