WebMessenger IM: Now Free / Mini-review

So when it comes to WindowsMobile, we are slowly running out of programs where we don't have five thousand choices to choose from. Mobile Instant Messaging is one of those categories (though sadly, perhaps the best one, Verichat is now defunct).

One app that has been around for quite sometime is WebMessenger. But we haven't used it around here at WMExperts for one major reason: it was payware. Gladly, that has changed in the last week and now, for some untold reason, the sucka is completely free. Any catch? There doesn't appear to be--no ads, no spam according to their user Privacy Policy, although they are quick to point out there are no guarantees that it will remain free forever, but there's no reason to think that will change anytime soon.

So what the heck, lets give her a spin and see what we find. Read on to see my brief tour and review!

First a couple things to point out: Webmessenger is a 3rd party server based system, that is you log in to their servers who then log into your IM accounts (AIM, Google, MSN, Yahoo, Jabber and even Skype via a plugin)--so there are some security concerns that might be relevant for some users. It also supports WM5, WM6 smartphone and PPC versions--so everyone is covered.

Because of that, you need to register via their website. And no, you can't fudge the registration process as they do send you your account master password to login. When you receive your registration email, you'll also be provided with the download link for the app--which is a typical desktop installation (no .cab).

After that it is pretty straightforward: you login to your relevant accounts and setup your preferences, of which there are quite a few but it's hardly overwhelming. You can have only online contacts show, choose their ordering, rename contacts, change status (no custom) and even select your system notifications. Not too shabby.

The program installs at around 2.2mb on the device--not huge, but not small either. I found you can UPX (ha! I wrote that wiki--note to self, do a WMExperts tutorial) the files to around 750kb, which is a nice savings.

Overall, the program handles nicely. The Today Plugin takes about 2 lines and tells you your status as well as any incoming messages. I found the layout of the program simple and straightforward and not cluttered at all, something which I appreciate. Performance of the program varies but it seems to maintain a data connection, with occasional system pinging to keep the connection alive. In this sense, the app should behave like most other IM programs--that is it will consume battery life. Notifications worked very nicely with a double-vibrate and/or sound notification--no LED support (at least on the Treo 700wx).

So verdict? It's not a bad program--in fact it's quite nice. You can't argue the price and it seems to offer a robust set of features. Will it be for you? That depends on your exact needs of course, but most users should find it a pretty nice alternative. It's not perfect either, so leave your experiences in the comments section to help give us an overall opinion!


  • Free
  • AIM, Yahoo, MSN, Google, Jabber
  • Nicely laid out, decent graphics
  • Today Plugin
  • Nice options


  • No SMS-relay e.g. Verichat
  • Relies on 3rd party server
  • Need to register for login
  • Can't send files
WC Staff