Review: IM+ All-In-One Messenger by SHAPE Services
This review originally appeared within iLounge’s iOS Gems series within the compilation article, iPhone Gems: The Best Instant Messaging Apps. Additional details may be found in the original article.
IM+ (Free) is yet another multi-platform IM application, offering support for AIM, Yahoo!, MSN, Google Talk, Jabber, ICQ, and MySpace messaging. Like most competing apps, IM+ uses a bottom-tabbed interface for navigation, with selections for contact list (buddies), inbox (chats), status, and settings, the last of which offers access to both app and account settings. Unlike MobileChat, the user can toggle individual accounts on and off, providing the option to go online or offline on an account-by-account basis. Contacts from all currently-active accounts appear together in the contacts list. In our testing, we had no trouble connecting to multiple services at once.
On the contacts list, each user is listed simply by screenname, with an icon to the left indicating status. The individual chat screen is similarly sparse, with each participant’s name listed in a separate color on an otherwise text-only screen. As with other IM apps, URLs and linked text do not appear as links, and images cannot be sent to users signed on with IM+, limiting the app’s utility. Despite these shortcomings, IM+ is a solid app, with few bugs, and an efficient, if sparse, graphical interface. It’s not as pretty an option as AIM for users only interested in that chat service, and it lacks some of the features found in the also-free Palringo, but it does not require the user to sign-up with any service, and will therefore likely appeal to those who do not want their chat login information shared with third parties. For its jack-of-all-trades style functionality and efficient interface, IM+ earns our general recommendation; the ability to send and receive pictures or audio and correct handling of incoming linked text would make it even better. iLounge Rating: B.