- Consolidates dozens of chat services
- Non-cluttered interface
- Easy to use
- No Skype support
There are about a billion chat apps in the iTunes store, but Meebo (Free) sets the standard. So why is this social networking app is the one to beat when it comes to instant messaging and chatting?
Consolidate your chat services
Meebo is a social networking app that combines all of your instant messaging services into one program. It supports AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Facebook, MySpace and many more.
To use it, you have to set up a free Meebo account, which takes about five seconds. After that, it's simple to select each instant messaging service you use and enter your usernames. The interface is incredibly simple and only has three main pages: Buddies, Chats, and Accounts. Under the Buddies tab, you'll find a listing of which of your friends are logged on to each of the instant messaging services you've added. Under Chats, you’ll see active chats. And under Accounts, you can add or subtract accounts and set visibility preferences.
To start a new chat, simply tap an online buddies and type your message. Meebo includes a variety of emoticons that you can add to your chats. Serious Meebo users may find the iPhone's small keyboard annoying for long chat sessions, but it didn't bother me for quick conversations. Meebo does support landscape mode, if you find that keyboard configuration easier.
Meebo supports push notifications, so you can receive alerts on your iPhone’s homepage. Unlike many iPhone chat apps, Meebo is free. It also has a simple interface that is easy to navigate -- most iPhone chat apps are very cluttered.
It’s hard to find many downsides for Meebo. While it supports a ton of chat services, Skype is a notable omission. It also once had a tendency to crash, but recent updates seem to have fixed that.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a chat app, I would highly recommend checking out Meebo first. It’s free, it supports a ton of IM services, and the interface is much more refined than most chat apps I’ve seen. It doesn’t support Skype, but that service has its own free iPhone app. Overall rating: 5 stars out of 5.
What You’ll Need