First the good news: Flory is a free instant messaging app that supports Google Talk, has push notifications and a live tile. On top of all of that, it completely works, allowing you to be signed in and receive messages "in the background". Huzzah!
Now the bad news: It's in German and therefore only in the German Marketplace for Windows Phone. [Update: Flory is coming to the US Market very soon. See here for more info]
Yes folks, those crafty Germans have had this app for awhile unknown to us while we patiently wait for IM+. We've been running it for the last day and it's behaved like a champ. Sure, the menus are in German but you can still finagle your way through the logins. The app works through a service called Flory, which then enables you to login to Google Talk. Incoming IMs are pushed to the device via Toast Notifications (the ones at the top) and/or the Live tile. The delay is no more than that of an SMS message, that is, it's fast and has been very reliable for us.
So how do you get this on your phone? We'll go over three options after the break...in the meantime, check out the video hands on.
WP7 Desktop Marketplace
The first choice is the easiest but only for a small minority of you: if you have a developer unlocked device (or used ChevronWP7) you can just side load the app. But, in order to get the XAP file, you'll have to go through the German Marketplace as the app is not available in other regional Markets.
To do this, you need to grab the free XDA app WP7 Desktop Marketplace. Install that, switch to the German Marketplace, enter in Flory and now double click to either save or deploy. Done.
The second choice is less reliable but doesn't require a side load: try using the freeware app Marketplace Enabler to spoof your region so that Zune Desktop thinks you're in Germany. Now from our experience, we did not have luck with this app, but you may. Just don't get your hopes up, m'kay?
Contact the developer
The third option is a lot less satisfying but probably the best until IM+ comes out: contact the developer, ask for an English language (or other) version and for it to be submitted to other regional Marketplaces. Yeah, this method could take weeks, but it's really the only serious solution. Website: https://flory-im.com/
Update: Or have the developr contact you ;-) See here.
Once you've managed to get Flory on your phone, you need to do the following steps (very easy):
- Hit ...
- Select einstellungen
- Under 'Flory' type in a user name and password to create an account--then enable Toast & Tile notifications
- Slide over to gtalk and enter in your Gmail account
- We're unsure about those options below (translate?)
- Restart the app
- Time stamps are not accurate
- We're unsure of how to sign out
- Unsure of how to get Flory to refresh your friend's info
- No way to set status? Default status: 'on Flory Messenger' or 'Away from Flory Messenger'
At the very least, Flory proves that a viable instant messaging solution is totally workable on today's Windows Phone 7. While saving battery life and delivering fast updates, Flory does a great job of completing WP7 in many ways. Now, the goal is to either wait for IM Plus (expected next month) or to get Flory to more markets.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.