By April 24, 2010

IM+ for iPad mini review

im_240x130 I’ve had my iPad for a few weeks now and one of the first things I wanted to sort out was an instant messaging client. Now there are lots of instant messaging apps for the iPhone and iPod from apps that are specific to one IM service, such as the Yahoo Messenger app, to those that support connection to multiple IM services.

However, there are not many instant messaging apps that are designed for the iPad yet. For example my previous favourite, Palringo, does not yet have an iPad version available and while the iPhone version will work on the iPad it’s limited to running in a small window on the iPad or virtually full screen using the pixel-doubling zoom function on the iPad, either way it’s not ideal.

 

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The Palringo iPhone app on the iPad

 

So it was time to look for something else that I could use to keep in touch with my friends on MSN Messenger and Skype on the iPad. A search on the App Store on the iPad reveals a few options, one of which is IM+ from SHAPE services. Now I’d previously tried IM+ on the iPhone and quite liked it, the only thing with the iPad version of IM+ is that it’s pretty expensive IMHO at $9.99 for an IM app it did, at the time, seem like quite a lot and without a ‘LITE’ or demo version of the app it’s a case of taking a chance and hoping you like it. That’s one of the reasons for doing this brief review!

If you’ve never seen IM+ before then it’s worth mentioning that even the iPhone app has lots of good features and you aren’t limited to just a few IM services, it supports loads! Skype, AOL, MSN, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, Google Talk, Jabber, ICQ and MySpace are all supported and that’s no different on the iPad version.

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How does IM+ on the iPad differ from other IM apps and the iPhone version of IM+? Well as I already mentioned, the services supported by IM+ on the iPhone and iPad version are the same so core functionality is the same and you can roughly say the same for some of the other IM apps out there such as Palringo that I spoke about above. However, when it comes to the iPad version then IM+ makes good use of the additional screen space available.

The main window looks similar to the iPad’s email client. You have your contacts on the left hand side with Twitter at the top and instant messaging contacts below. You can choose to see on and offline contacts or just online contacts from the settings. On the right hand side of the screen and taking up the majority of the page you have the actual conversation.

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So far the iPad doesn’t have multitasking, although we’re expecting OS 4.0 to come to the iPad later this year, but it’s one thing that I think somewhat cripples the iPad. However, another big plus for IM+ (no pun intended) on the iPad is that not only can you have multiple conversations running across multiple IM services, which may otherwise require individual apps, you can also open up a web browser window within the IM+ app. Now I think this is a genius idea! Being able to browse the web while conversations still take place in the background and you still get alerted to new messages makes IM+ very useful.

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As with many other apps IM+ supports push alerts and badges so that you’ll always know when someone has sent you an instant message, which again, it pretty handy!

 

At the start of this brief review I said that $9.99 was expensive for an app. I think that’s true of an app that you can’t have a trial version of. However, that said I think $9.99 for IM+ is a bit of a bargain, I use it an awful lot and I’m pleased with my purchase.

Here’s a quick video to help demonstrate.

IM+ for iPad video

 

Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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