App Review

With all the instant messaging services out there, remaining connected to your favorite services can be a bit of a hassle. Normally, you would have to download (or purchase in some cases) all the different apps for the specific instant messaging services you use — just to remain connected to all of them, and be able to send and receive messages from your family, friends, and co-workers. Aside from having to sort through all the notifications from each app, having several messaging apps installed takes up much needed resources on your smartphone. This is where the imo messenger

comes in handy. We checked out imo messenger for the BlackBerry, and here’s our

review of the app.

Continue reading for more. Installation and Setup

The app installer takes up 752KB on the smartphone, which is fairly small compared to similar apps out there. This leaves you with more room for other apps you would like to install.

Setting up the app is easy. You begin as by setting up your imo account from within the app. The imo account is important, because the app uses it to access the imo server and store info on all the other messenger accounts you will set up. If you’re using a touchscreen device, be sure to use the trackpad key, as the app somehow doesn’t recognize touch-clicks. Once your account is set-up, you just need to click on the validation link it sends to the email you indicated, and you’ll be good-to-go!

Adding accounts is also fairly easy to do. Simply clicking on Add Account brings up all the popular instant messaging service that the app supports, like Yahoo, Skype, FaceBook, MSN, etc. Clicking on the messaging service you wish to add, the app brings up a log-on popup where you indicate your login information for the messaging service you chose. Set the corresponding permission requests and you’re set.

One feature we appreciate with how imo messenger handles messaging accounts, is the ability to link your accounts. We tried removing all the accounts, and setting them up again. Once we set up the first of the previously-linked messaging accounts, imo messenger automatically set up the rest of the other accounts! This is something which will definitely come in handy when upgrading to a newer model, or simply switching to a different BlackBerry smartphone.  In the screenshot below, the Skype account had been linked to the FaceBook account, as indicated by the “link symbol” displayed between the two accounts.

Function and Use

As an instant messenger application, imo messenger performs as expected. Sending messages to your contacts from any of your registered messaging services is easy, because contacts for each account are categorized according to account. imo messenger also allows for easy logging on and off for each account. Simply heading on to the Accounts Tab and clicking on the account switches it on or off. Doing this instantly hides your contacts for the logged-off account.

Another feature that we appreciate is imo messenger’s ability to list all open chats under Chat Groups. This allows you to switch back and forth between your open chats and continue chatting.  The list is shown together with your list of contacts which imo messenger cleanly lists under the Contacts Tab.

The app also supports group chats with people on the imo network. Simply selecting the imo Network Tab brings up the list of people on the imo Network. Ticking the option “I want to meet new people” allows you to interact with others on the imo Network. You can chat with people individually, or join-in on a group chat they currently have. To chat with people individually, you’ll need to pull up their profile by clicking on their name/avatar from the list. Once on the person’s profile, relevant actions are displayed. You can Chat with the person, Add the person to your imo contacts, or Report the person for inappropriate behavior. Selecting Chat triggers an Open Chat with that person.

If you want to join a group chat among imo users, you simply click on the chat description (which also displays the number of people in the group chat) under an imo member’s name. Doing so triggers an Open Chat and the chat history is displayed, so you can brief yourself on what people already discussed, and be able to reply appropriately.

One unique feature of imo messenger is that it uses Communication Points (CP) to limit people from potentially spamming others in the imo Network. Below is the guide on CPs, courtesy of imo.im:

You may need to use communication points (CP) to send messages or call people on the imo network. This reduces the amount of unwanted conversation users will see on the imo network.

What costs CP?

Sending messages or calling people who have you as a contact does not cost CP.

Here are some of the common activities that do cost CP:

  • 2 CP for the first IM to a user in Meet New People
  • 5 CP for the first IM to any user on the imo Network
  • 10 CP for an audio call
  • 20 CP for a video call
  • 1 CP for participating in a broadcast discussion

Communication points are replenished daily. You can used CP back after a day.

What determines how many CP you get?

There are many factors we take into consideration here, including:

  • 5 CP for joining the imo Network.
  • 10 CP for verifying your mobile number.
  • 5 CP for linking each of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin
  • 2 CP for entering your location
  • 2 CP for having a complete bio
  • 2 CP for linking an email domain
  • 1 CP for entering high school, university, employer
  • 1 CP for each new friend you invite when they join the imo network

Other factors in your CP computation may include your interactions with other people on the network. Good interactions may get you more CP, bad ones may reduce your CP allocation.

We may make changes to the way you earn and use CP in the future.

imo messenger is also customizable. You can set up how imo messenger Looks and Feels, as well as customize Privacy and Settings options.

Considerations and Overall Recommendations

Overall, we found imo messenger to be a powerful app, capable of keeping you connected to popular instant messaging services around. Although instant messaging apps abound, imo messenger differentiates itself by the additional features it makes available to users.

Except for not recognizing touch-clicks for touchscreen phones, the app performed as expected. Function, control, speed, customization, and simplicity seem to have been the foundation on which the app was developed.

The use of CPs may be considered a limitation by some, but looking at how spammers take advantage of every communication medium these days, this may well benefit people in the long run. After all, CPs are renewed daily so there’s no need to worry running out of CPs.

imo messenger is currently on beta version and available for free on AppWorld. So, if you’re looking for an all-in-one instant messaging app that keeps you connected and in control of all your messaging accounts, imo messenger is definitely recommended for you.

You can download imo messenger beta for BlackBerry smartphones for free on AppWorld.

Looking for imo messenger for your PlayBook?? You can download the latest android build of imo messenger converted for the PlayBook in our List of Working PlayBook BAR Apps.

Note: Features of the Android/BAR version are not exactly the same as the features discussed in this review of the imo messenger for BlackBerry smartphones.

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