Messenger apps revisited

Over a year ago, I wrote about Messenger apps, disrupting text messages (SMS). During that time, Apple launched another service called iMessage (standard with iOS 5 and greater). Send unlimited text messages via WiFi or 3G, and pick up where you left off across devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch).

I was desperately looking for a BBM desktop client. I’ve since stopped using BBM much due to the fact that most of my friends on the service have ditched the BlackBerry in favour of Android and iOS devices. So now we only keep in touch via WhatsApp. And more recently, KakaoTalk. Makes me wonder which came first — WhatsApp or KakaoTalk.

But not to digress, Apple has done a one-up. They’re providing iMessage support in Mountain Lion. And this is a killer feature because now you can chat on your iPhone, move to an iPad if you’re lying on your couch, and go straight to continue messaging on your MacBook Air when you’re on your desk. You also have group chat with iMessage. This is an extreme productivity booster when you need to keep in touch with groups (i.e. don’t only chat on the go, but chat at your desk too).

The only limitation of iMessage? All users need to have an iOS device. I’d hope Apple would open it all up so other people can built against the iMessages API, but thats probably a pipe dream. This limitation is basically similar to the once popular BBM.

With two major platforms, Android (Google Talk) and iOS (iMessage), you’ll go where your friends are.


  1. Google Talk is more universal than anything else (it is based on the XMPP standard and is actually interoperable). It just miss a good iOS client to work well on mobile. Even MacOS X has native support for it. Otherwise there is Adium and on Windows, there is Pidgin.

    • colincharles says:

      Absolutely. Though persistence is also important with controlling battery life. I’ve never had a good experience with Google Talk and the battery on my BlackBerry and Android phones…