Have you used MSN in the past? Maybe not, how about Facebook chat, or GTalk (Google Hangout now)? Are you a Yahoo chat fan? How about Steam? Do you have multiple chatting clients on your Android? Could you have multiple clients but can’t be bothered? I started instant messaging years ago while I was playing some on-line games. Everyone was using MSN and some of my family were using Yahoo. Soon came Facebook chat and then GTalk. I had accounts with all of these. Lately I’ve added Steam because some of my friends play games from Valve and use the Steam client. I’m not interested in putting the Facebook app on my phone but I am interested in keeping in touch with all my friends. Enter IMO it is capable of logging in to different Instant messaging sites and lets you chat to your contacts, all from one interface.
What does the App claim it can do?
This developer doesn’t claim that it’s the best or that you can do amazing things with it like make your coffee. Their claims are simple “Join 10 million people and message and call your family and friends for free with imo!“. It has a modest list of features which include high quality video and audio, group chatting, photo sharing and chat history. It also claims to have connectivity with Facebook Chat, Google Talk, ICQ, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, Jabber and Steam.
Does the App REALLY do what it claims to do?
Well, Google show an installation number of 1-5 million users so that is one claim that would need to be backed up by other stores. I haven’t tried to use it for video or voice so I really can’t tell if this part of the app works. My family use Google Hangout since they really have no need for another IM client like I do. In addition you need to have an IMO account for the video calls feature which won’t be a shock for users of apps like WhatsApp or Viber.
I also haven’t used the group chat feature either, but I know that you can’t use it for your friends on different systems, for example you can’t group chat with people that are on Facebook and Google, it doesn’t work this way.
I have checked to make sure that it can connect to Facebook, GTalk, Yahoo and steam even though I haven’t used Yahoo in ages. The really good thing is that they all work and to top it all off I can view all the history and sync all the accounts to the web site. Something that they don’t tell you is that IMO has a web interface so you can take your IM Client with you wherever you go. This was one of the things that really attract me to IMO. I don’t need to have IMO signed in on my phone if I’m working in the office, or at the computer at home. I can use the web interface which is really quite slick. There are other IM clients that offer this feature but I haven’t seen many that do this as well as IMO. Meebo used to until it was bought out by Google.
A couple of systems were missing from the connectivity lineup, namely Skype and MSN. Thank you Microsoft for making connectivity difficult. Aside from this you can treat this app like Facebook or Google+ in that you can broadcast all your thoughts or dreams or desires to the wide world. To do this you need Communication Points (CP) which can be gained by updating your personal details, buying the premium version, linking Facebook etc. To help stop spam communication with people who are not in your contact list costs you CP which is refreshed daily.
What do I like most about the App?
I’m going to come right out and say it this time, I like that it has a web interface and an Android app. This is the best feature by far. There are other IM clients out there that support multiple protocols, but this one does it on the web too. Before doing this review I’ve also looked to see if there are others like it. There is one out there, IM+ which I’ve used in the past in my search for another after the Meebo sellout, but IM+ didn’t cut it for me. IMO with its seem-less linking of accounts and the chat history being stored coupled with its synchronized chat windows across devices makes it a complete solution
What’s not to like about it?
You need to create an IMO account. I know that normally this is a no-brainer but there was a time when this wasn’t necessary, IMO would create an account based on one of your other linked services. In today’s world though it normally doesn’t phase people.
What are the little niggles (What would make it perfect)?
It would be nice to be able to group chat with people in different services like having a Yahoo friend in a group chat with a GTalk and yourself. As it is you need IMO which is a shame, they have the technology to make seem-less group chats but they don’t use it.
Why did I decide to keep/remove it?
At the moment I’m keeping it because I like to chat to my Facebook friends, my GTalk and steam friends and don’t want to install multiple apps on my Android to do it.
Would my wife use it?
No, she uses GTalk and logs into Facebook once in a while. She doesn’t do IM as much as I do for sure.
Sorry about the lack of screenshots, I tried to show a couple but IM is very personal and I would have to black out most of my chat information. Instead please go to the play store to see the shots that they have there.