Best App for Instant Messaging
Buddies: Sign into your various chat accounts with Meebo, and the app lists your buddies from all those services, including their availability and status. Tap a buddy to start a chat, or tap the Chats button to see your chat history, including current conversations. Add new buddies by tapping the + button at tap right. Meebo organizes your buddies into groups, which you can create and manage from the meebo.com website.
Chit-Chat: Meebo gives you a clean set of just-the-basics chat features with text and emoticons (no photo or video uploads). Tap the smiley icon next to the tap bar to reveal Meebo’s slate of 24 emoticons. The tiny speech bubbles at screen bottom indicate recent chats; swipe left or right to move among them. Tap the Chat History button to see earlier exchanges with your pal.
Meebo lets you juggle several instant-messaging accounts, supporting over 100 services, including the biggies like AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Facebook and Google Chat. Even when the it’s not front and center, Meebo alerts you when you receive a message, making it easy to stay in touch on the go. The app is especially convenient for users of the web-based chat app at www.meebo.com, syncing your online chat history with your account there. (Using the app requires that you set up a free meebo.com account.)
Social Butterfly: It’s easy to flit among multiple chats in Beejive. Double-tap the screen to see the full list of ongoing chats, or tap the top bar to reveal buddy icons for other chats (as shown here); tap a buddy icon to make the jump. Send a photo or voice clip by tapping the camera or microphone icon, or email the chat transcript by tapping the envelope. When you send or receive pictures or documents, you can view the file by tapping its blue arrow icon.
While Meebo will neatly meet the needs of most folks, hardcore IM’ers who live or die by the chat will dig BeejiveIM’s power features. This premium do-it-all instant messenger comes at a correspondingly premium price. Like Meebo, it connects to all the big services and alerts you to new messages even when the app isn’t running, but it also lets you send and receive pictures, documents, audio, and video, albeit in a somewhat twitchy, cluttered interface.
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