Instant messaging (IM) has long been one of the most popular methods of online communication. And it’s no wonder – IM is fast, easy and free. There are many different IM clients, and Agile Messenger for the iPhone supports six of the most popular – ICQ, MSN, AIM, Yahoo!, Google and Jabber. IM “on-the-go” used to be limited to laptops with Wi-Fi, but the beauty of the iPhone is that it allows for constant internet access anywhere where there is cellular coverage. The iPhone is (relatively) stable, the screen is large and there is a qwerty (on screen) keyboard – it’s really a perfect platform for instant messaging.
Of the IM clients that Agile Messenger supports, I would probably hazard a guess that MSN would be the most popular. It also happens to be the only one I still have an account for, and I was very happy to discover that essentially all the features that you’d find in the parent client are available with Agile Messenger.
You start out by selecting which service you’d like to use. Once you’ve logged in to your account, you’re presented with a list of your online & offline contacts – and a single “Menu” button that contains the options for that client. For MSN, the options included:
- Online Status (Online, Busy, Be Right Back, Away, In a Call, Out to Lunch etc.)
- Add contact
- Add group
- Edit log-in settings
- Log Off
It’s all very easy and straightforward.
With respect to contacts, you simply tap on a contact to bring up options that pertain to that person. You can initiate a chat session with that person or alter contact group(s)/information etc.
In the chat window, you can type your messages in either portrait or landscape keyboard mode – which is handy. You can insert a picture directly into the message from your camera and even connect with your friend for voice chat. There are also 60 different emoticons that you can add to your messages.
Agile Messenger features always-on (server-side) connectivity so you can use other apps, take phone calls etc and still receive your messages. As Apple does not currently allow apps to run in the background, the messages are actually push-forwarded to your email address – and so you can receive notification via email to let you know that you have new IM messages.
Bottom Line: Agile Messenger is a full-featured IM client for the iPhone, great for keeping in touch with friends on-the-go.
Agile Messenger requires the iPhone OS 2.0 or later, and is compatible with both the iPhone & iPod Touch.