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Last in the roundup is the only cost and ad free multi-IM client available at ... BlackBerry News forum

  1. #1
    MStrawder's Avatar
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    Jul 2008

    Multi-IM Client Roundup: Nimbuzz


    Last in the roundup is the only cost and ad free multi-IM client available at the moment that supports the 5.0 OS for BlackBerry, Nimbuzz. Now I want to apologize for taking so long to get this final review out, but as anyone who uses Nimbuzz knows, it's only been in the last week that it was once again functioning on versions of 5.0 above revision .411. In fact, short of downgrading your OS to either 4.6-4.7 or an earlier revision of 5.0, Nimbuzz has been non-functional for quite some time. In order to really get hands on with the app, I downgraded the OS on my device and had a review all prepared, but once the fixed version was released, I decided to give it a test run on the newer OS' to check for stability and new features.

    With that being said, Nimbuzz is officially back up and running again, with full functionality on the latest revisions of OS 5.0. At first glance, Nimbuzz seems to be a very basic IM client. No long options list, no settings to tweak, and no flashy graphics. Now please don't let this turn you off to the app. This is perhaps one of the reasons Nimbuzz has become so popular in the BlackBerry community. It features a slim and easy to use UI that doesn't overwhelm the user, but still provides all the functionality needed for an IM client. The service supports the popular networks, AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, MSN, ICQ, but also features FaceBook, Skype, and MySpace chat.

    The main screen is exactly what you would expect it to be: status, name, avatar, and buddies. There's really no options to configure here as far as the display goes, with the exception of how buddies are sorted and whether to display ones who are offline. Selecting your own avatar allows you to change your online status and set a personal message.

    Selecting any one of your contacts opens a chat dialog which is still a pretty standard interface. Type the message and press the return key or use the emoticon feature in the chat menu. If I haven't made it completely clear yet, Nimbuzz features a nice looking, but no-frills interface for those users who are more interested in chatting then the overall appearance and extra features.

    The initial setup requires registration on the Nimbuzz website which assigns you an account so other Nimbuzz users can chat with you without the need for other IM services. I really don't see the need for another IM account, but it doesn't require any extra steps to complete and doesn't detract from the app itself. After registration, you simply add your account info for each IM service you want to login to. It downloads the buddy list for each service and you're good to go. I feel that one of the main features that really sets this app and service apart from even it's paid counterparts is that there are both a web and PC interface available to compliment the BlackBerry app. From the Nimbuzz site, you can login to your account and add/remove buddies and even chat with them. The PC version allows you to do this also and while I'm a whiz at typing on my 8900, I find it to be infinitely faster to add contacts from my PC's keyboard.

    This is probably the shortest review I've ever done for an application, but I believe that this app does exactly what it needs to, without any bloat. It has a clean, easy to use interface, doesn't drain my battery, supports all of my IM services, and even allows me to chat from my PC or anywhere with an internet connection. The kicker to the whole package is that it's 100% free. By free I mean no cost and no annoying ads. Talking with some of the staff on the Nimbuzz support forums, it's been said that in a future release (presumably 2.0), Skype calling will become an included feature, but no news on whether this will take the app out of the free realm and into the paid.

    Overall I have to give high recommendations for this app to anyone who is looking for a basic IM client that supports multiple services. The app's size on the device is relatively small and the app itself isn't a resource or battery hog like others. Now while some will say that being the only free product out there supporting the newer OS', it wins the free category by default, but I found this app sometime back when others such as Instango and Palringo were still working and I gotta say that it beat them hands down.

    You can get the application here or by visiting their site, Below you'll also find a great video demonstrating the interface on a BlackBerry device.

    "Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure" ~ Marianne Williamson
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  2. #2
    srl7741's Avatar
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    May 2006
    As always, great review.


  3. #3
    azstar's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Thanks for the great review, really looks like this is a must have app if you need support for multiple IM clients.
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    Current SmartPhone: Motorola DROID Rooted, Running Project Elite v4

  4. #4
    Lavagirl's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Awesome review!

  5. #5
    Delfim's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Great review MStrawder ! Thanks ! Very informative and up to the point...

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