IM: instant messaging. Almost everyone on the globe is using it. Since the invention of the Internet and e-mail, people have stopped exchanging letters and started to exchange e-mails. As instant that was, we wanted something more instant. Enter instant messaging. And now, with every device connected to the Internet, people want to take their IM clients everywhere.
What do you use to stay constantly connected to your IM accounts? I’ve been using imo instant messenger for a while now and I’d like to share my thoughts about it. It’s one of the best IM clients for Android I’ve tested so far, with a clean user interface and multiprotocol support and — what I like the most — it’s free and ad-free!
imo instant messenger is available for free on the Android Market, and can run on any Android device from version 1.6.
The application is divided into three major tabs: Accounts, Buddies and Chat. They’re pretty self-explanatory, but let’s talk a bit about each one of them:
Here you can manage your accounts on various IM services and link them. When you link your accounts, the passwords are encrypted, so you don’t need to worry that someone can find them out. Linking them helps you save time when you log on, signing you in on all of your accounts. Here are the chat protocols available:
I only use Yahoo, Google Talk, Skype and Facebook.
Here you’ll find all of your online contacts. If you have them grouped, as I do on Yahoo!, then they’re also grouped in imo. Offline contacts from all services are grouped also.
This tab contains any opened conversations for quick access. This is very in handy when you’ve got a lot of opened conversations and need to find the right one. You don’t need to search for your contact in the buddy list.
The conversation window is very clean. Your sent messages have a white background and received messages are a light blue, with a font that’s big and clear enough to read.
As of most IM clients, imo instant messenger doesn’t have much features, but file sharing is there. You can also record a voice message and send it. On your end it will appear as a player, with a play icon to listen; at the other end, your friend will receive a link to an *.mp3 file stored on imo’s servers.
A key feature, as I mentioned earlier, is the ability to link all of your existing accounts, so that you can log in to all of them at once.
Other features include: push notifications and ongoing notification to tell you on how many accounts you’re signed into (or not) at once; app auto-start on phone boot-up; chat history; and emoticons.
About emoticons: I’d like to point out that it only supports the built-in emoticons from Android. I say that’s a big plus, as including their own emoticons only adds to the size of the application.
Conversation Window. As you can see it uses the built-in Android Emoticons
imo instant messenger has a few settings. Most of them only toggle the features I’ve mentioned earlier. You can also change the font size of your conversation window from the default Medium to Small, X-Small, Large or X-Large. All of these, even X-Small, are pretty easy to read, but X-Large is a bit of a insane size in my opinion.
Another thing I like about imo’s settings is that they are all in one place, and restricted to just a few important ones. I’ve noticed that some developers tend to clutter the settings, grouping them into sub-menus, and sometimes I find myself lost is settings trying to find a particular thing. imo have done a pretty good job keeping the settings menu neat and tidy. All the settings that you really need are there: nothing more, nothing less.
The Good and The Bad
As I said, imo instant messenger is one of the best multiprotocol chat client that I’ve used so far. It supports all major chat protocols, including Skype (big plus for that). The interface is very user friendly, simple and easy to use. User settings are very tidy and few (which in this case is a good thing).
Let’s not forget that this app is free and ad-free. Thumbs up for developers that create apps for people, not profit.
The only downside is that you can’t change you profile icon (on any protocol). A slight inconvenience, but not a major set-back. It could be if you change your picture often; I don’t, so in my opinion it is a feature not needed.
Leveling everything out, I recommend this to anyone that needs to stay connected. Its clean interface is just perfect for people that want to chat.
Summing everything up, I give imo instant messenger a perfect score: 10/10. For me, it’s the perfect application to chat with, and will be for a long time.