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instant messaging

When Facebook Messenger released for Windows Phone devices a couple of weeks back, it marked the third official way to chat with your Facebook friends on Windows Phone. No kidding!

While the Facebook integration is one of the touted features of the platform and you can chat with your Facebook friends from within the messaging app, you can also do the same using the official Facebook app developed by Microsoft. And now, there’s Facebook Messenger. All of which brings us to the question, "How do you chat with your Facebook friends from your Windows Phone?"

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The popular Windows Phone app WeChat has been updated to version 4.5.2. So what's been added since we last looked at the app back in July? Quite a fair bit actually. You can chat with friends in a walkie talkie session, search through chat history and more. There's no groundbreaking functionality that will blow your mind away, but there's enough included to keep the experience feeling fresh and updated.

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Hemlis on Windows Phone: Wait and see

The other day we told you guys about a little project called Hemlis. It’s an upcoming app that promises to keep your communication secure and private. They had a period of funding where they raised over $150,000 dollars to develop the app for Android and iOS. They had only planned on raising $100,000, so they had asked the community what to do with the extra $50,000. You said they should build a Windows Phone app. Their response?

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We mentioned TalkBox way back in November coming to Windows Phone. The popular messaging app derives its name from the ability to do press-n-hold a button to send mini-voice clips to your friends, basically making it a lazy man's chat program.

The app was in private beta for the last week and we've been running it during that time on our Titan II. It's undergone quite the makeover from its alpha days and we have to give the TalkBox team a nod for making it well designed (we really like the splash screen).

The service is free, it can scan your contacts to find other TalkBox users, allows you to send pics, type back and fort, share location and of course send those voice clips.

The service has been on iOS and Android for some time, is in beta on BlackBerry and even alpha on dying webOS. That's good news as it means it's not a new service, allowing you to connect up to the rest of your non-Windows Phone users.

The app won't be in the Marketplace for a few weeks as the company has just opened up its pilot program for all of those who can side-load (aka developer unlocked devices). So if you feel like lending a hand or just want to give it a go, head to the source link to read the details and grab the XAP file.

Source: TalkBox

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As if the world needs yet another instant messaging service, last year Samsung introduced their ChatON app on Android which now boats a few hundred thousand users. The app is nothing too remarkable as it allows group messaging, photo, music and location sharing and the usual other chat tidbits you expect from such a service.

In January, Samsung released a version for iOS and subsequently one for RIM's Blackberry too. There was also mention from a TNW article that a version for "Windows Mobile" (sic) was in the works as well. Later, Samsung somewhat denied this but now it appears that Sammy may indeed have something for Windows Phone.

From the Italian version of the website for ChatON, Samsung now list "Windows Mobile" under app availability with it currently grayed out indicating future support (even if they have the platform name wrong).

Other than that we have very little information as to when it will come and what features it will have (and to be honest, we're finding it a little hard to get excited over this). On the other hand, when every other platform has it and you're the last one who doesn't, it certainly doesn't hurt us to be included too.

Thanks, iMarc90 (Twitter), for the tip!

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For those of you who go back to the Windows Mobile days, you'll remember an instant messaging service called Palringo ( The program was its own IM service, which allowed things like voice-clips to be instantly sent along with photos and files. In addition, it was also a multi-client meaning it could support and connect (by proxy) to other IM services such as AIM, Google Talk, Facebook Chat, ICQ and more. Finally, it had support for custom Groups which were basically permanent chat rooms that one could create and invite people to, in addition to supporting iOS, Android, Symbian and Mac/PC desktops.

We reported a few months ago that Palringo was finally going to support Windows Phone, heck we even showed some early screenshots. Now, v0.5 Beta is live in the Marketplace free to use for all. Of course that beta tag means it is still in development, so all won't be perfect, but we've been using it for the last day and half with little to no issues.

The app itself is fairly well designed and what it lacks in beauty it makes up for it in functionality. We hadn't logged into our Palringo account in nearly two years yet when we did, we were instantly reconnected to our old services and up and running within a few minutes (creating accounts on the device seems to be problematic for some, so perhaps use the web first, then login). Messages were sent and received instantly, the Live Tile is double sided showing the numerical notification on one side and the message on the back.

Voice clips, arguably one of the best features, were easily recorded and sent instantly. Likewise, the second device received them nearly instantly too--impressive for a 3G connection.

Overall, even for a beta we like where Palringo is heading with this app. We imagine the final version will cost a few dollars, but so long as they keep it below $4.99 (what IM+ Pro charges) we don't see a problem. For those looking for a multi-client IM app and even sending voice clips, we have to recommend you give this a go.

Pick up Palringo beta here in the Marketplace.

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We previously touched on eBuddy earlier this year when we noticed a job posting for a Windows Phone app, now Mi Móvil Windows has cooked up an article briefly covering the eBuddy XMS beta for Windows Phone, which was made available to selected users yesterday. They note that while the app lacks features sported in other messaging apps that are already available on the platform, it does have an attractive UI.

Some features highlighted in the version 0.9 beta:

  • Ability to add contacts by scanning the handset address book, Facebook contacts, directly with PIN or eBuddy
  • Allows you to copy and delete entire conversation threads
  • Push Notifications of received messages
  • Displays the contact's online status
  • Displays information about the delivery status of a message
  • Phone Compatible with Windows 7.5 and higher Mango
  • Languages ​​available: English, Dutch and Russian

Limitations to take note of:

  • Does not allow to send or receive images
  • Does not display emotions sent from other platforms
  • Only allows text chat

Keep an eye out on this space should you be looking forward to eBuddy making an appearance.

Source: Mi Móvil Windows (translate)

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The other day we mentioned that TalkBox was well on its way to Windows Phone. The popular voice-chat app allows you to record less-than one minute messages which you can then pass on to other TalkBox users or post to your Twitter/Facebook for others to hear. The app is popular on the iPhone and Android and now looks to be coming to Windows Phone.

At the time we reported that the app was to premier at the Hong Kong launch-party for the Nokia Lumia devices and the Hong Kong fan-site We Love Windows Phone managed to track it down and take a photo. That app looks nice enough and we're always excited about having more voice chat apps in the Marketplace. Hopefully we'll be seeing it soon, especially since it already looks to be running on hardware.

Check out the TalkBox website for more info:

Source: We Love Windows Phone

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Love 'em or hate 'em, you have to give SHAPE Service some credit: they are dead set on making IM+ the best instant messaging option on Windows Phone. They consistently make updates to the app and they're not exactly inconsequential ones either. So it's always exciting to get an update from them and version 1.9 doesn't disappoint. Here's the changelog:

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Well not even a week after the last update which introduced some new features we get IM+ going to version 1.8 and adding Mango support for fast-app switching, at least according to Shape Service's Facebook page.

If there was any app that really needed this feature, it'd be IM+ just do to the nature of how instant messaging apps are used.

So how does it feel? Honestly, we still see a "resume" screen which doesn't make us feel too excited and there's no other advanced Mango features--no pinnable contacts, the live tile doesn't seem to be double sided, etc. It feels kind of the same as before. But hey, if you find anything new, hit us up on comments and let us know!

Grab IM+ v1.8 here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Sedp23, for the heads up!

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Users of Windows Mobile will be glad to know that the developers of Palringo have finally acknowledged that they indeed have a Windows Phone app in development.

In a tweet from @sedl23 (who tipped us, thanks!) asking them directly, they responded with an affirmative "Hi, yes we do have a windows phone 7 Palringo app in the works" which is nice and clear, just the way we like it. Of course, there's no mention of a release time frame though maybe we can pry it from them...even if just a guesstimate.

For those wondering what the heck is Palringo, it's a very popular IM service that is both proprietary but also connects up to Google Talk, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, Live Messenger, Jabber, ICQ, iChat and Facebook IM. It even has a "local" feature, allowing you find other Palringo users and since the app is available on Windows Mobile, OSX, iPhone, Android and even Blackberry, it shouldn't be too hard to find peeps.

We're psyched but we'll be even more excited when we hear more--after all, the last time we heard from these guys they said a WP7 port was "likely". But that was in November, 2010.

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Good news everyone, Kik Messenger is finally live in the Marketplace (see website).

We've been playing around with it for the last few days and have been very impressed with the mobile instant messaging solution. To refresh, Kik messenger is a proprietary IM service designed for mobile use, is available on the iPhone and Android, boasts over 4 million users and is completely free.

So why use it over something like IM+ (see video tour)? In our mind it's simple: Kik is much faster to load, use and more importantly send/receive messages. It's the closest thing to BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) with its Sent, Delivered and Received statuses. From our experience, it's the most reliable and fastest IM client we have used yet on a mobile device: with push notifications (Live Tile, Toast), messages are received in less than 10 seconds nearly every time--truly a great experience.  Sure, it's not a multi-client system like IM+ and means you would have to try and get your friends on it, but so far we think it's worth it for mobile use, especially for communicating with those internationally. It's also $10 cheaper i.e. free.

Watch our video tour and then give the app a spin yourself and let us know what you think. You can grab Kik right here in the Marketplace. (Thanks, Mike A., for the tip)

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IM+ preview pics go live

Even though a preview/beta released was suggested for April, we're fast approaching the end here with no sign of a pending release. But as a sign of good faith, Shape Services has gone and posted a few screenshots of their much anticipated IM+ instant messaging app.

Not too much can be gleaned in terms of features i.e. we don't know if it has a Live Tile/push notifications (though you would think that's a requirement for such an app), but the layout looks nice enough and it appears to embrace the Metro design, which is always nice.

Hopefully we'll be getting this in our hands sooner than later.

Source: IM+ Facebook; via WPSauce

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We've been waiting for quite some time for IM+ to hit Windows Phone 7 and we finally have word that the first beta should be hitting the streets in April.

No other features have been announced, pricing or if the beta is open or closed. That's the bad news, but hey, at least it's still up for release this month in some form. In the meantime, Flory will have to hold us over, which is just fine by us.

Source: Facebook; Thanks, Tom/Kranked90, for the heads up!

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Flory IM, which support Google Talk and Facebook IM, has been bumped from v1.6 to 2.0. In turn, it has received a nice UI overhaul, bringing some pizazz to the popular instant messaging client. The changelog is as follows:

  • Complete redesign of the contact list
  • On/Off buttons for each supported protocol
  • New Googletalk implementation
  • New Facebook authentication (should fix most connections issues and allows connections outside Germany)
  • Push-Notifications for Facebook IM
  • Avatars for Facebook IM and Googletalk
  • Status messages in chat view
  • Improved landscape view for chats
  • New language support: Spanish

Overall, it does look a lot nicer and since it hops to your IM list directly, makes it more logical in the layout. We still noticed a couple UI glitches, but we imagine those will get ironed out eventually. Tip: Before updating, we encourage you to sign out of Flory, uninstall the application and reset your device. Then go to the Marketplace to re-download/re-install. Otherwise, you may have some stability issues (we did).

Grab Flory IM in the market here; Thanks, Alan, for the eagle eyes

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We told you v1.6 was coming and sure enough, the new Flory is now live in the Marketplace.

The biggest change is of course the availability in English (and Italian) which should make the program more accessible for many out there (we love how it still says "googles" though). The other addition is it now has built in Facebook IM, which acts through the Flory servers bringing direct, pushed chat right to your phone. Combined with the already featured Google Talk and this is one powerfully IM app.

The program is still free and after Flory upgraded their servers today, everything seem to be in working order. Grab it here, nao. Thanks, Alan, for the heads up.

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New to the Marketplace is C&R Holding's Li'Messenger, a chat client for both MSN and Facebook.  The app communicates directly with Windows Live servers, for a private chatting experience.  The best part is that it is free of charge.  And unlike many free apps, Li'Messenger is also free of advertisements.


Li'Messenger supports Multiple Points of Presence, but due to its direct line to Windows Live servers, it does not receive notifications.  It will, however, run in low-power mode while your phone is in lock-screen. 

You can download Li'Messenger here.

Update: We just got word that this app has to be pulled from the Marketplace, so you may want to grab it now before it's gone. We're not sure why this is...

Source: C&R Holdings

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